Friday, April 9, 2010

Weasel of the Week: Nike

They say that sometimes you don't let the facts get in the way of a good story. Nike, the Portland, Oregon-based shoe company, is one of the few corporate sponsors that has stood by golfer Tiger Woods in the face of all the scandal that has enveloped the #1 ranked golfer in the world the last few months.

So, with Woods making his seasonal debut at the Masters this week, Nike felt the time was right to debut a new ad starring Woods. Sort of. While I haven't yet seen the ad, I have read of the controversy surrounding it. Woods' late father, Earl, provides the narrative, but the words are not actually meant for his son. According to an ABC News report, Nike, with the cooperation of Woods, no doubt, used an audio track of the elder Woods from a 2004 documentary to play over a fresh video image of Tiger, suggesting that the 4-time Masters champ was in fact the original target of his father's commentary.

Generating controversy in order to sell their product is old hat to Nike. They've been doing it for years. Tiger Woods had spoken about changing his ways a couple of months back, but, as we documented after the dog-&-pony show disguised as a press conference, it certainly appears as though he's willing to reap the benefits of his sponsors exploiting his father's memory. Instead of saying "no", Tiger is only adding to the controversy.

Of course, the New York tabloids are plastering him on the front & back pages as long as he's in contention at the Masters. While it's a first for the legendary tournament, it's overshadowed by the fact that there are still a few more women coming out of the woodwork claiming they've been with the randy Woods. While that would've gotten the tabloids' editors some weasel ears, Nike gets the ears this week for their irresponsibly shallow show of support. If they really cared about Woods, they wouldn't have stooped so low.


Ivan G Shreve Jr said...

My father has a tendency to wax nostalgic about the biscuits his Aunt Nancy used to make when he was a youth -- so I told him I was going to tape record his stories and exploit the hell out of him if Bisquick ever came a-calling.

hobbyfan said...

I wouldn't call that exploitation, Ivan. What Nike did with Woods, on the other hand......!