Friday, February 19, 2010

How involved do you think Nike was in orchestrating Tiger's speech?

From Deadspin: "This wasn't a press conference. This was an advertisement."

But going back before all this, how involved do you think Nike was in covering for Tiger? Sometimes I've even wondered if Tiger is a sort of fictional character that had to be created -- the story of taping that list of Nicklaus' major victories to his bedroom wall is especially precious -- all in order to maximize the marketability of an awesome but skeevy Eldrick.

Anyway. Oh hey. You got to click on this for me. Huge. Quickly.


HighJive said...

Not convinced Nike was involved at all with the speech. Nike is doing what they always do – supporting their spokespeople. Tiger has not done anything the majority of Nike athletes haven’t done too. He just got caught. By his wife. This was my reaction when things first broke last year. The only defense for the clueless press corps might be tied to the nature of golf. That is, if you’re a beat writer for the NFL, MLB or NBA, you’re following the team daily during a season. With golf, you see the stars for maybe a few days – or even a few hours – for a handful of tournaments.

Irene Done said...

HighJive -- I haven't made any moral judgment here about Nike. I'm only wondering what role they've played in managing his image. This is worth asking because 1) there used to be a time when Phil Knight thought the phrase "image is everything" was a sort of blasphemy -- like when he said "We work hard to convey that performance, not image, is everything" -- and 2) Nike might have hedged on that, needing Tiger to be both legendary and likable, in order to launch a golf line.

I am making a judgment about the golf media. They weren't clueless. They were riding a gravy train and weren't about to do anything to make it jump the track.

HighJive said...

Still not convinced that Nike plays an active role on such levels. They are the ones riding a gravy train; i.e., they hook up with the top performers and benefit from the glory. If anything, they play by financial rules. It’s more profitable to be with Woods than without. You’re not going to generate much excitement by introducing a line of apparel and gear for, say, Vijay Singh. Nike must also be aware and familiar with the risks of associating with the personalities that they employ. Woods has not done anything illegal or more reprehensible than Michael Vick. Has Woods even been charged for his driving incident? It seems like a lot of people are giving Woods a pass (e.g., lots of people saying, “Hey, nobody’s perfect,” and “This is a private matter.”). While Woods’ scenario certainly has a lot of sensational components, it is not as serious as Kobe Bryant’s trials and tribulations – and Bryant’s now in a cutesy Nike puppet series. Woods’ public apology seemed more like a part of his “recovery treatment” than anything else.