SBD/21/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

NIKE OFFERS GIRLS LEAGUES; CRITICS TAKE AIM AT NEW REFORMS

          Nike yesterday announced plans for a girls basketball
     league in all 10 WNBA markets, according to W.H. Stickney of
     the HOUSTON CHRONICLE.  The program, geared toward girls age
     eight to 18, "is an extension of Nike's successful
     grassroots initiative to increase awareness and interest for
     women's basketball" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/20).
          NIKE REFORMS: In a N.Y. TIMES op-ed, Bob Herbert writes
     on Nike's planned labor reforms, "Let's not be too quick to
     canonize Nike."  While there is "both merit and a lot of
     smoke" in Nike Chair Phil Knight's recent child labor
     initiatives, the "biggest problem with Nike is that its
     overseas workers make wretched, below-subsistence wages," 
     which Nike failed to address.  Nike "blinked last week
     because it has been getting hammered in the marketplace and
     in the court of public opinion."  But the company's "current
     strategy is to reshape its public image while doing as
     little as possible for the workers. ... Nike's still got a
     long way to go" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/21).  In an op-ed piece in
     USA TODAY, Lorraine Dusky writes that while Nike "can give
     away dazzling, multimillion-dollar piles of money to dozens
     of athletes ... surely it can afford to pay a living wage to
     those who make the shoes."  Despite a 15% raise this year,
     Nike workers "are faring poorly."  Dusky adds, "[W]hether I
     like it or not, my Nikes and I are at least partly to blame
     for the current crisis in Indonesia, no matter how far
     removed it all seems from us" (USA TODAY, 5/21).  S.F.
     attorney Alan Caplan, a lead figure in CA's public-interest
     lawsuit against Nike which claims false advertising and
     unfair business practices, said Nike's recent initiatives
     "won't affect our litigation" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/19).

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Nike, WNBA

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