"60 MINUTES'" LESLEY STAHL STUDIES NIKE/ADIDAS' STUDENT PLAN
CBS' "60 Minutes" profiled Nike and adidas' involvement
with high school basketball players in "There's No Business
Like Shoe Business." CBS' Lesley Stahl: "Nobody, not the
Bulls, the Lakers or the Knicks, is more interested in
finding the next Michael Jordan than Nike. ... So Nike, and
its competitors like adidas, are searching the country.
Searching for the hot NBA rookies, putting their shoes on
the best college seniors. But what amazed us, is that
they're also going after basketball babies." adidas' Sonny
Vaccaro said that shoe companies start recruiting players
when they're "eight, nine, ten, eleven-year-olds." Vaccaro,
on what adidas gets out of finding a promising ten-year-old
basketball player: "What you do, is you bring this person
along, and hopefully he stays in the family." Stahl: "And
then all the kids in the country will wear adidas?"
Vaccaro: "That would be very nice." Stahl: "Nike and adidas
have turned the summertime into a huge basketball bazaar,
spending millions of dollars to corral every kid with a
decent jump shot, betting that one or two of them will
develop into superstars -- and human billboards." High
school basketball talent scout Bob Gibbons, on the shoe wars
over high school students and the high school summer camps:
"It's way out of control, and I don't know how you get it
back in control" ("60 Minutes," CBS, 10/26).
NIKE'S TAKE: Stahl asked Nike Dir of Global Basketball
Ralph Greene on its mission in supporting youngsters: "It's
important for us to provide wonderful opportunities for kids
who play great basketball. ... It's a very simple formula
for us. And it really does start with performing, and being
passionate about the game first, and the athletes first."
Stahl, in response to Reed: "Selling shoes first." Reed:
"No, no, no, no, no. It's the game first, then the passion
for the game and understanding what athletes want."
Gibbons, asked about Reed's "passionate about the game"
statement: "I don't see them giving their product away to
schools that do not have good players ... they love the
schools that have the top players the best" (CBS, 10/26).