Who’s Now Getting More Bang For Their Buck ? Kobe , LeBron Or Nike ?

Well now that the NBA Finals are upon us. It has to be said that the marketing behemoths of Madison Avenue will do their very best to entice us all to divest ourselves of our hard earned cash, as they look to bombard us with their wares. And no one will be more likely to do this throughout the series than Nike Inc.And the one thing that you can’t deny about this particular marketing behemoth is that when it comes to using the tools of their trade. There’s absolutely no one better at it on the planet than they are ! Much like Coke , Pepsi, McDonalds are known globally as a brand that transcends the market place. So to now does Nike and all that it represents. And yes there are those amongst us who view them as exploiters of cheap labor and children.As pertaining to the labor laws . Perhaps even much more asides. But there’s no escaping the fact that as Nike goes . So too does the world of sports apparel and sport’s fashion.

Bill Bowerman and Steve Prefontaine

Bill Bowerman co-founder of Nike Inc seen here with former track star Steve Prefontaine. It was Bowerman, who devised the Swoosh motif that’s readily identified with the sport’s apparel company. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Cale Langer …….

From humble beginnings in Beaverton , Oregon . The company founded by Bill Bowerman and Philip Knight has become a colossus amongst its noted peers. The company still strives for excellence in all of its endeavors. And its tentacles now stretches across the globe in terms of its very presence. And with revenues in excess of $18.6bn for last year alone. It’s quite easy to see why the company is still strongly revered and on the same hand so widely despised. It has to be said that we can either choose to ignore the actions in the market place or we can admire them from afar.

Phil Knight

Phil Knight co founder of Nike Inc along with Bill Bowerman the renowned track coach. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ ……..

As of late they’ve become socially conscious and also making sure that the public is very much aware as to the philanthropic efforts around the globe.

But the genius of Nike has always been their marketing and the quality of the product that they place within the market for the consumer. It also hasn’t hirt them by the fact that they make use of the most visibly high profiled athletes to endorse their wares. And from those halcyon days of the Spike Lee directed Michael Jordan ads . We now come full circle where we now have both Kobe Bryant and LeBron James now endorsing Nike made shoes.

So here’s one or two of the ads just in case you’ve not seen them as of yet. I’m sure that throughout the remainder of the NBA Finals they’ll be bandied about our television screens. And at the same time these particular ads will provide us with a great deal of humor.

And while no doubt that LeBron is sitting at home watching the NBA Finals. No doubt hoping that he were participating in. He can at least be content with the fact that residuals he’ll no doubt earn as the ads are replayed again and again. It’ll go some way in making amends for that exit that he and his teammates had to endure at the hands of the Orlando Magic. As for Kobe, he’s having his day in the sun and he appears to be loving it nonetheless. As if anything else really matters as he pursues a fourth championship ring ?

Continue reading “Who’s Now Getting More Bang For Their Buck ? Kobe , LeBron Or Nike ?”

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.