April 18, 2007

Thank you Nike

The overall reaction to the Don Imus thing has been general outrage. As warranted as the outrage is, most of it has been negative, divisive and unproductive. Nike has decidedly taken a different approach. Instead of lashing back as many have, they have put a more positive spin on the whole incident. They actually thank Don Imus...

In Sunday's NY Times, they ran a full page ad that read:
Thank you, ignorance.
Thank you for starting the conversation.
Thank you for making an entire nation listen to the Rutgers team story.
And for making us wonder what other great stories we've missed.
Thank you for reminding us to think before we speak.
Thank you for showing us how strong and poised 18 and 20-year-old women
can be.
Thank you for reminding us that another basketball tournament goes on in March.
Thank you for showing us that sport includes more than the time spent on the court.
Thank you for unintentionally moving women's sport forward.
And thank you for making all of us realize that we still have a long way
to go.
Next season starts 11.16.07
This campaign will continue on to the web, where it will be run as digital ads on such sites as Cosmogirl.com, Seventeen.com, Flip.com, FoxSports.com, ESPN.com, and NikeWomen.com - where viewers will then be able to "spread the word" by forwarding it on to their friends.

Is Nike capitalizing on this whole mess? Maybe. But I believe their intentions are good, and who better to speak on behalf of these athletes than someone that understands them the most if a little Nike brand building is the cost of getting a more positive message out there, it's a small and worthy price. They have followed the great example set by the girls of the Rutgers Women's Team themselves, and have risen above it.