Common Sense And Phil Knight Have Nothing In Common …………….

For all of his posturing and wealth , it’d appear that a businessman , such as Nike co-founder Phil Knight just doesn’t seem to get it. Here’s a man whose company is one of Tiger Woods’ primary commercial endorsers. Nike pays Woods in excess of $25 million annually, plus his apparel company markets a range of clothing and golf equipment that bears Woods’ name. Over the past decade upon Woods’ entrance on the PGA Tour, theirs is a relationship that seems to have been an amicable and fruitful one , for all of the parties concerned.

Nike  co-founder   , Phil Knight  .    picture  appears  courtessy  of Business  Week /Getty  Images/  Stan   Strouther   .............
Nike co-founder , Phil Knight . picture appears courtessy of Business Week /Getty Images/ Stan Strouther .............

Courtesy of Sporting News

Nike’s Phil Knight tells SBJ: Tiger’s indiscretions just ‘minor blip’

By Tripp Mickle , Sports Business Journal

Nike chairman and co-founder Phil Knight has long been regarded as one of the sports industry’s leading innovators, his influence stretching across the entire sports landscape. He was in New York last week being honored as the National Football Foundation’s 2009 Gold Medal recipient, the organization’s highest award. Before the ceremony, Knight, who wore blue jeans, a sport coat and black tennis shoes, spoke to SportsBusiness Journal staff writer Tripp Mickle at the Waldorf-Astoria.

SBJ: How would you characterize the state of athlete endorsements right now?
Knight: It’s a market like other things and the market like other markets has gone down. When the economy comes back up, they’ll go back up.
SBJ: When?
Knight: You tell me when the economy is going to get better and I’ll tell you right about that same time.
SBJ: You look at someone like Tiger Woods and this episode of infidelity. Does this change the concept of building brands around athletes?
Knight: Not for us. It’s part of the game.
SBJ: Does a company like Nike or another company run a risk in building brands around athletes?
Knight: There’s always a risk. One of the things we always try to do when we have a big endorsement is check out the character and the pattern of the individual. But you’re not going to get it right all the time, and if you’re going to be in the business you have to recognize that.

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Knight, a well respected and an astute businessman, who built his company into a global conglomerate that has revenues in excess of $11 billion a year , annually. Its size and power, dwarfs its nearest competition on the global stage. Albeit , that Nike now tries to portray itself as being socially active and aware. It has come a long way from where its work practices where being viewed and questioned when using child labor to mass produce the Nike product line , in particular the Michael Jordan, sneaker line in the Far East . At the time, they were paying a meager wage, to women and children who were working 12 to 16 hour days, for a mere pittance. For which the product was being sold on the North American consumer market from anywhere between $200- $400 a pair. But that’d be only half of the story concerning the company and its apparent labor malpractice issues.

Woods (right)  and   former  NBA great,  Michael   Jordan   share  some time  on  the  golf  course.   Jordan  prior  to  Woods'  introduction  on  the  PGA  Tour  was  Nike's  main   pitchman   in  terms   of  sales  and   endorsements   for  many  of   Nike's  top  products.   Woods  has  since  eclipsed   Jordan  as  the   company's  main   source  of  product  income   and sales'   pitch  endorsements.         picture  appears   courtesy   ap/photo/   Frank   Hutchinson   ...........................
Woods (right) and former NBA great, Michael Jordan share some time on the golf course. Jordan prior to Woods' introduction on the PGA Tour was Nike's main pitchman in terms of sales and endorsements for many of Nike's top products. Woods has since eclipsed Jordan as the company's main source of product income and sales' pitch endorsements. picture appears courtesy ap/photo/ Frank Hutchinson ...........................

As Nike has steered a path towards business respectability , the company has taken on a tone of social reform and awareness. But if you were to think that those particular changes would as such make the company appear better to the consumer. You’d be entirely right. But at the same time there still remains that somewhat maniacal fervor on Knight’s path, to conquer its competitors by whatever means possible within the tenets of the law.

Nike and Woods are tied at the hips and their symbiotic relationship will continue while Tiger undergoes whatever is necessary to bring his familial environment back on track. As to the possible ‘commercial hit’ that the company will take from the uproar over Woods’ misplaced sexual shenanigans. No one can really quantify what it will be. But they are bound to lead to a drop-off in sales of any Tiger Woods’ based apparel and product. It just stands to reason. There are some things that the public can be forgiving about but when the alleged offender chooses to hide behind a web of deceit and intrigue . Then the public and media alike , will turn their wrath upon that same individual. Deserving or undeserving as the case maybe. It’s not so much that Woods was placed upon a pedestal but he chose it for himself , the very moment he sought to use that public forum for his philanthropic efforts concerning young children. It’s one thing to preach honesty and the benefits of obtaining an education. But it’s another to then lie to not only to the public but also the closest members of your own family, as to your own shortcomings and misdeeds. Tiger literally has learned nothing than the very fact he felt he was above the fray and invincible. The character flaw is now there for all too see and so too is that now ever enlarged chink in his armor.

Phil Knight views Woods’ misdeeds as nothing more than a slight bump in the road. Wherein , he believes that in some respects it’s much ado about nothing. Well , for Knight as he stands nothing to lose from this all emotionally. It clearly shows however , that he’s an individual who thinks nothing of a client of his , being a philanderer , a liar but above all someone who’s a conduit for the very consumers that his company elicits in buying his products. Either , he’s condoning Woods’ actions or he simply just doesn’t get it all ? I certainly think that on the face of it , Phil Knight isn’t a naive individual. But his statement concerning Tiger Woods makes him (Knight) look like a complete ass ! It may well start to hit home once the consumers start to buy less of his client’s product and forsake those products and go elsewhere for their needs.

Common sense , intelligence and clarity pertaining to one being held accountable for one’s actions just doesn’t seem to sit at all well with either Tiger Woods or Phil Knight. And in the case of Phil Knight , it just appears to be that he wanted to make that idiotic sound byte without at all thinking about the ramifications of Woods’ actions.

Author: tophatal ...........

Brit ex-pat living C Florida . Now working with a consultancy firm in the field of corporate governance on the international front , concerning economic policies . Also covering the area of finance , banking, international banking. An MBA graduate from the (LSE) and UCL (London) , M&A (mergers & acquisitions), economics , risk management & assessment . Martial artist (tae-kwondo, karate, savate , muy-thai) & an vowed sports ' fan , sports' junkie. Served in armed forces British ... Royal Marines . Taught unarmed combat to members of the military and also competed in tournaments prior to joining the Royal Marines . Also an avid motorcycle junkie & free running enthusiast . Tech geek and computer repair technician. Entertainment: Musical tastes _ reggae, r&b, soul, hip-hop, rap , jazz, classical. Film genres , Preferably thrillers , crime dramas Hobbies ..... reading biographies & anything by John Grisham Just a lil' something to make me feel comfortable ! Tophatal

4 thoughts on “Common Sense And Phil Knight Have Nothing In Common …………….”

  1. Honestly, I think Tiger’s image will be fine. The media makes it a bigger story than it is. I think that when he wins two majors this year at two of his most dominant couses Masters and US Open Nike will be happy that he’s still with them! His stock is so low right now it can only go up!

    Like

    1. chappy 81

      I think that you’re jumping the gun way too soon ! Sponsors are now said to be running away from the guy faster than butter falls off a hot knife. Accenture the management consultancy company has dropped him. Gillette has essentially dropped all commercials featuring him and luxury precision timepiece makers, Tag Heuer has now taken a ‘wait and see’ approach. Gatorade wants no part of his ass , at present.

      Phil Knight and Nike, by far Tiger’s biggest commercial sponsors has the most to lose. They’ve invested tens of millions in the guy. And all the time that his self imposed exile away from the sport is lengthened the more of a financial hit that they take. Clearly your business savvy just isn’t there at all ! Otherwise you’d have thought your statement through ?

      Tiger’s fortunes aren’t like a stock index at the moment. With each passing moment with another female coming out making a claim as to his infidelity , the more things go ‘further south’ for him. And he certainly hasn’t made it any easier for himself with ongoing silence and not making a formal apology or public statement. For guy whose image was molded by PR , he’s now taking such a hit , wherein even O J Simpson looks amenable.

      Alan Parkins

      Like

  2. Interesting blog, I was intrigued to read about Nike’s labour malpractice issues, of which previously I had no knowledge about.

    In terms of Tiger Woods, well I think that eventually the public will forget about his recent marital problems. The public are very fickle and if after some time, Woods begins winning tournaments (when he returns to action) and with some clever PR campaigns I am sure the public will begin to forget about what has happened, or in any case not think too much about it. It probably will take some time though for this to happen and will require Woods to make some public shows of regret.

    I do think Nike’s sales on Woods’ endorsed products will fall in the short-term and probably the long-term, but he is such a legend in his field that Nike will never be unable to be market him. It may be some time before people do believe in his character again though and it all depends on how he now conducts himself in the public eye.

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    1. Vaishali

      Well now that AT&T as well as Accenture have dropped Woods there will be others who’ll follow suit. Tiger has yet to fully come clean other than a trite web mail response on his web site. If anything that is more of an insult to the public and his sponsors.

      He’s now deserving of his fate !

      As to Nike they’re now being socially responsive than ever before but they’re still not completely out of the woods as of yet !

      A belated Happy New Year to you and the immediate family !

      Alan Parkins

      Like

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