SBD/March 26, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Nike's Social Media Shoutout To Tiger Draws Fans' Ire For Perceived Insensitivity



Nike drew criticism for its social media ad congratulating Woods
A Nike Facebook and Twitter post featuring Tiger Woods and the caption "Winning takes care of everything" has drawn "criticism for perceived insensitivity about Woods' divorce," according to Todd Wasserman of Woods became the No. 1 player in the world with his win yesterday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and taking his "domestic situation into account, some fans found that Nike Golf's exultant message celebrating the feat was off-pitch." While the comments on Nike's Facebook page "appeared to be mostly positive, some fans also took issue" (, 3/25). Woods' win was discussed on the "Today's Professionals" segment of NBC's "Today," and Willie Geist noted the “question now is, are golf fans -- men and women -- ready to give him a second chance?” Geist: “One measure of the response: The backlash to a new Nike ad on Facebook that says, ‘Winning takes care of everything.’ One commenter asking, ‘Does winning erase all the bad things this guy did?’” NBC’s Carson Daly said, “We love two things in this country. We like to knock people down. The only thing we like more than that is to pick them up. That’s exactly what’s happened with Tiger.” Star Jones said America “likes winners, and when Tiger Woods is out in the hunt you are cheering for him. You’re not thinking about any of those personal issues.” Daly noted that “if the public believes he served some time and some penance and he worked his way back up” then it is a “good story” (“Today,” NBC, 3/26). ABC's Jimmy Kimmel noted Nike posted the ad on its Facebook page and recited the caption. Kimmel: "Except for that ridiculous goatee and mustache but, you know, I’m pretty sure lawyers take care of everything in Tiger’s case” (“Jimmy Kimmel Live,” ABC, 3/25).

MEET THE NEW BOSS...: CBS' Jeff Glor said, "A game that’s been desperately looking for a new star for three years has suddenly found the old one is back” (“CBS This Morning,” CBS, 3/26). USA Today's Christine Brennan noted, “Nike will always stick with Tiger Woods, but other mainstream companies, they haven’t come back to Tiger. So the key question is, will they?” (“GMA,” ABC, 3/26). Meanwhile, in Toronto, Cathal Kelly writes Woods' game "has returned, but the swagger that once accompanied it is gone." Public interest "never ran dry," but it was a "distant admiration, a combination of schadenfreude and genuine pity." Part of what made Woods' decline "so compelling was that the dip in his professional form ran parallel with his personal implosion" as he fell to world No. 58 at one point. Kelly: "Over decades, we’re all several different people, shaped and reshaped by victories and setbacks. We rarely get to see that process at work. It’s happened here." This "new Tiger Woods may be the golfer we’re all familiar with, but in the course of clawing his way back, he has emerged an entirely new person" (TORONTO STAR, 3/26).

RANKINGS CRASH: In Abu Dhabi, Steve Elling reports the website for the Official World Golf Ranking "crashed ... just as the tournament was finishing" yesterday. Ian Barker, who runs the website, was asked if the "Monday finish and the popularity of Woods had anything to do with the crash." He said, "We suspect there may be a link" (THE NATIONAL, 3/27).
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