SBD/Issue 219/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Musical Acts, Armstrong To Lend Support To Nike's Human Race

Nike+ Human Race To Be Held 
Simultaneously In 25 Cities Globally
Cyclist Lance Armstrong and musical acts including rapper Kanye West "will lend star power" to the August 31 Nike+ Human Race, which will be held simultaneously in 25 cities and is being billed as the "world's first global 10K," according to Jim Hage of the WASHINGTON POST. The U.S. races will take place in the early evening and "will be followed by musical acts, much like Nike's Run Hit Wonder series that began in 2003." However, unlike that series, Nike "has no plans to continue the Human Race beyond this year." Nike has hired "top race management companies in each of the host cities, but this is clearly Nike's show, fueled by Nike's money." Nike Media Relations Manager Jacie Prieto: "This has been a huge focus, company-wide." Conley Sports CEO John Conley, whose company is managing the Austin, Texas, Human Race: "There's lots of creativity, plenty of adaptations, and it's an exciting way to do business. But it's not our race -- I'm much more risk-averse than Nike. We're just along for the ride." Chicago race official Sue Hopkinton said that she "expects 15,000 runners" for the Chicago race (WASHINGTON POST, 8/3).

WORKER RIGHTS: Nike said that it "has taken steps to correct worker-abuse problems in a factory it uses in Malaysia," an action that the company said "reflects its concerns about the country's chronic labor shortage and how it affects factory workers" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/4). In Portland, Richard Read reported Nike "plans to investigate all 37 of its contract factories in Malaysia after a television station found that one plant garnished wages, housed foreign workers in squalor and withheld their passports." Australia broadcaster Channel 7 said that it "found 'human trafficking on a massive scale' at the T-shirt factory, where foreign workers were paid a pittance to manufacture apparel." The TV report last week said that "workers were housed 26 to a room in filthy conditions, with hundreds of men bathing in a single trough" (Portland OREGONIAN, 8/2).

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