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NIKE'S STEALTH MARKETING IN PARIS NOT GOING UNNOTICED
Published June 17, 1998
Nike is not an official sponsor of the World Cup but "it has become a billion-dollar gate-crasher," using its "inimitable formula of team sponsorships, player endorsements and sports parks to plant its swoosh logo all over the month-long, 64-match tournament," according to Thomas Heath of the WASHINGTON POST. Nike spokesperson Dave Mingey: "This is the world's most popular sporting event, so it's very important for us to be here. I would not say we are attempting to ambush anything here in France. Our main goal in soccer ... is to grow the sport." In Paris, Heath writes that Nike is promoting its ties to multiple national teams and to Brazilian star Ronaldo. ISL Football Dir Glen Kirton, who monitors the use of marks and logos for FIFA, said, "I certainly can express concern about Nike's advertisements. Some companies (who are not official sponsors) are trying to catch some of the kudos from the World Cup. Nike is one of those" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/17).