Gini Dietrich

Nike Takes Stance with Tiger Woods

By: Gini Dietrich | April 8, 2010 | 
30

I was going to blog today about Spirit Airlines charging $45 for a CARRY-ON bag (not checked luggage!!) and relate it back to Tuesday’s blog post about the New York Times charging for content. But then, whoa! I saw the new Nike ad which features a voice from the grave – Tiger Woods’s dad!

If you haven’t yet seen it, watch it now. Then we’ll discuss.

Minus the PR nightmare Tiger caused when he refused to talk about the scandals (see the blog post I wrote about it here), I’ve said all along that if his dad were still alive, this would NEVER have happened. I’m a big “if you don’t think your parents would approve, don’t do it” person and that has bothered me since last Thanksgiving when this all began to unfold.

But that’s neither here nor there. Bravo Nike! Bravo for taking a stance on showing that they still stand behind Tiger (who is, let’s be real, the greatest golfer of all time), but that they don’t condone his behavior. What a fantastic way to show the world they have integrity!

What do you think?

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

Spin Sucks in Your Inbox

Leave a Reply

30 Comments on "Nike Takes Stance with Tiger Woods"

avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest
Roger Wohlner
6 years 1 month ago

Gini, great post. I agree with your opinion re the way Nike is handling this situation. However, at the end of the day I could really care less about Tiger other than how he plays golf (though the SNL skit with the golf club bent over “his” head is a classic). I am no more or less likely to purchase a Nike product because of who advertises it or based on their misdeeds. I know, I’m just a boring results-oriented financial type.

Amanda Bendrey
6 years 1 month ago
To me, this got more of an emotional response from me than any of the issued statements or apologies that have been made over the course of this scandal because it really addresses the heart of the issue – the disappointment that was felt by fans, the public, ect. and the debate over whether Tiger and his followers can move past that disappointment . Additionally, I think it is a great approach for Nike – at some point they had to acknowledge the events going on. I think they not only did it with integrity, but also did it in… Read more »
Frank Dickinson
6 years 1 month ago

My first response was WOW that was hardcore on Nike’s part. Bringing back his dad from the dead to speak to Tiger’s behavior was striking and powerful.

In the ad I hear Nike saying “We don’t condone your behavior Tiger, just like your dad wouldn’t.”

I agree – Nike showing it’s integrity.

Michelle Rowan
Michelle Rowan
6 years 1 month ago

Who do you think he learned this behavior from? Tiger’s dad was notoriously unfaithful to his wife- showing Tiger a disrespect of family, his wife & marriage. I am not saying it’s ALL about his father, but I am sure this was happening when his father was alive, and would still have happened anyways!

trackback
6 years 1 month ago

Social comments and analytics for this post…

This post was mentioned on Twitter by Coxymoney: RT @ginidietrich: New post: Nike Takes Stance with Tiger Woods http://cli.gs/PsZ3b

Joe Heidler
6 years 1 month ago

I think that this is an amazing ad from Nike. It attempts to bring Tiger back, so that he may be useful once again to Nike in promotions. It does this very tactfully and shows that they stand behind their star while also questioning “Did you learn anything?”

Patrick Reyes
6 years 1 month ago

I definitely applaud Nike for what they are trying to accomplish here. For me personally, I’m beginning to look at the character of a company…what do they stand for beyond just selling me something. In this case (as it’s already been mentioned), Nike supports it’s star client but doesn’t condone his behavior and is telling the world about it.

Nick
6 years 1 month ago

I agree w/ Michelle on the character issue, Joe on the pragmatic. As far as the ad goes, classic manipulation, I find it offensive, to say the least. Nike showing its integrity? Not so much. Nike showing its marketing/PR smarts? Yes. Nike protecting its investment? Yes. Does Tiger have to sign off on this, using his dead father’s voice? Wow.

Nick
6 years 1 month ago

Gini–the ads that get us talking, as you have done w/ this post, have taken care of job one–I admire the ad, while feeling dirty at the same time.

Nick
6 years 1 month ago

I agree Gini, at least not to this scale.

Nate St. Pierre
6 years 1 month ago
I think this is a brilliantly done ad. It’s clear that it’s not meant to sell anything, but to show Nike’s support of their representative while not condoning his behavior. I don’t know anything at all about Tiger or his dad, but if it’s true that his dad was notoriously like this as well, then I feel the piece loses a bit of credibility. Still, though, as far as what Nike could do in this situation, I think it’s pretty high class. He’s a sports star and a pitch man – he doesn’t have to live a perfect life. Of… Read more »
Deb Dobson
Deb Dobson
6 years 1 month ago

Gini, outstanding post. I applaud Nike for taking a stand that does show they support their athlete, but not the behavior. I think it is a gutsy move and one that more companies should engage in. I was wondering if they would do anything public, and I think they did a good job. Regardless of whatever the behavior of Tiger’s dad was, I agree with you that Tiger would not have engaged in the lifestyle with dad around. Perhaps I’m naive too, but I don’t think so.

Rusty Speidel
Rusty Speidel
6 years 1 month ago

The ad touches that part of anyone who has struggled with something, with mistakes, and while saying “we don’t condone,” it also challenges you to remember what it felt like when you were being judged. I had an amazingly emotional reaction to it, and regardless of whether or not you think Tiger deserves all he is getting (I do), it also reminds us our our, collective, frail, flawed humanity. Now let’s play some GOLF!

Deb
Deb
6 years 1 month ago

I watched the ad…hmmm, jury still out for me. To be honest, I had no feelings, one way or the other! I suppose it’s because I am just so sick of hearing about it, reading HUGE headlines,etc. I understand Nike has to take a stance, they have a BIG investment in TW & their golf mdse/products. Does it just cover their butt? As for Tiger’s dad…it was not common knowledge that he was a philanderer, as well, UNTIL, Tiger’s escapades shattered the headlines last Thanksgiving. Hmmmmm? That’s what has me puzzled.

Davina K. Brewer
6 years 1 month ago
Gini, Wow you’re tackling the big stuff with this. I am very mixed. On the one hand, I do give Nike props for not cutting and running, but that’s not altruistic or noble on their parts. It’s smart business. There have been other scandals from which “heroes” have come back. Nike is protecting its investment and rightly so. Plus they get brownie points for not be hypocritical and showing “integrity.” What I am unsure about is them making it “personal.” I get why they want to humanize the story, offer rationalizations and soften the ground. Not sure it’s their place… Read more »
Peter Faur
6 years 1 month ago

I’ve heard it said that Tiger learned golf from his dad and his killer instinct from his mom. This ad would have been even more powerful (at least for me) if it had used his mother, but of course that would never happen. Her look and demeanor during his staged statement spoke volumes!

Bob Reed
6 years 1 month ago

What I see what is faux contrition supported by crass commercialism. The spot elicits a range of reactions, but in the end, a pained-looking Tiger reacting to his dad’s words never would have seen the light of day if that conversation actually took place.

Kevin
6 years 1 month ago

Brilliant ad, but I don’t look at it as any ethical stance by Nike (think sweat shops and child labor issues). I think this is pure manipulation by some very smart people. Nike is wise to stick by Tiger where other companies did not. This ad helps them to rationalize their decision and allows us to rationalize right with them. I don’t think any differently today about Tiger or Nike, other than to be reminded how superior Nike’s ad agency is.

kevin
6 years 1 month ago

by the way, went through an earthquake during my last comment. I didn’t stop writing. Just wanted you to realize my dedication 🙂

Gini Dietrich
6 years 1 month ago

I was thinking about this from a different angle. Look at how much the Internet has changed the way big companies communicate with their customers. They created a 30 second ad, posted it on YouTube, and it has made it’s way around the globe in less than 24 hours. It’s freaking brilliant from so many different angles. But the best part? You don’t have to be Nike to create this kind of buzz!

Dave Van de Walle
6 years 1 month ago
“You don’t have to be Nike to create this kind of buzz.” That’s bullshit. Sorry, Gini, I normally agree with you, but this is crap. Let me dissect: Dead Father. Great, let’s use Earl to stir up some publicity, because he can’t muck up the Tiger brand. They weren’t doing anything for months and now, all of a sudden, they’re going to “stand behind” this golfer-turned-horndog right in line with his coming out party? Yeah, meanwhile, where were they way back when, when Tiger was going off the deep end and getting rehab. They have f—d up this crisis, and… Read more »
Nick
6 years 1 month ago

I agree with you, Dave. The British refer to acts like this ad as “cynical” which certainly sums it up for me–saw a headline which said “creepy”, ‘nuf said.

Nick
6 years 1 month ago

SOOOOO, It turns out that maybe Earl wasn’t even talking about Tiger and instead his wife in a 2004 interview. INTERESTING……..

http://tinyurl.com/ychcwol

bettina
bettina
6 years 1 month ago

It’s classic ‘groundswell’. The crowd-sourcing of the clip made it a topic and we listened, watched and talked about it … is this destructive obsessive spin.
Where are our values.

Nick
6 years 1 month ago

Bettina, values are overrated!!! That was so 2008.

Lois Arbogast
6 years 1 month ago
Gini, I understand your perspective on this from a PR and business standpoint. Nike wanted to create buzz and they did. I however don’t believe this demonstrates corporate responsibility, but rather corporate irresponsibility, and I’m surprised Tiger’s camp went along with it. My first reaction to the commercial was disgust. Did I talk about it? Absolutely. Was it in a positive light? Definitely not. I think Nike’s reputation is as a classy brand that represents the best athletes in their respected sports. This commercial takes Nike into a realm where it doesn’t belong–the personal lives of its athletes. To me,… Read more »
Roger Wohlner
6 years 1 month ago

I bit of a post-script, just watched Tiger being interviewed after his final round at the Masters. What a classless, self-centered _____. After seeing this interview I think Nike should reassess if it is riding the right horse.

trackback

[…] note: This goes back to last week’s discussion about the Nike/Tiger Woods ad. I know A LOT of people disagreed with me, but I still believe it was […]

wpDiscuz
[postmatic_subscribe_widget]