Friday, March 29, 2013

Tiger Woods and Nike, Newest Ad a Crisis??

If you're a fan of Nike, or follow Nike Golf, you've probably seen this ad:

(photo credit: 

This ad which claims, "Winning Takes Care of Everything" has stirred up some controversy and anger in several people.  At first I hesitated to call this an actual crisis for Nike, because I have no doubts that they are a large enough brand to walk away from this relatively unscathed, but after reading several articles and scrolling through Twitter feeds it is an issue for Nike that should not be brushed off lightly.  

Back when Tiger Woods was at the peak of his issues during the fallout of his marriage, many of the brands that signed with him dropped Woods for fear of a bad image for them.  Nike was one of the few to stand firm with him.  And while I respect their faith in him and staying with him during his return to the top, I can't help but disagree to their approach with bringing Woods back into the public.  It feels as though they went into this with the intention of, "Look, I overcame this obstacles and persevered."  Which is all well and good but to use his quote of "Winning Takes Care of Everything" was not the best route.  If people had somewhat started to forget about his past issues, this quote just brings all of that negative publicity back.  In addition, it feels as though the impression that as long as you are at the top you can do whatever is being put forth.  Any young, aspiring golfers could be led to the impression that they can hurt people, act out, etc and as long as they stay #1 it's whatever, no consequences to their actions.  I don't understand how out of the numerous people that Nike as working for them, not one person stepped back and said, "You know, there is probably a much better route to go about doing this."  

Personally, and this is completely my own opinion, if I was employed with Nike's marketing department I would want to pull this ad and release a new one with the same possible intent mentioned above but worded in a different, more positive manner.  Nike would still be supporting Woods while maintaining a strong brand image. 

Anyone that happens to read this, I would love to know your thoughts on the matter.   

Here are links to several good reads on the topic: