A Major Marketing Faux Pas?

OK...Nike used to stand for cool shoes, now it stands for gay?

According to the Oregonian, sporting apparel giant Nike endorsed a bill in the Oregon Senate that would create civil unions for same-sex couples as well as a bill that would outlaw discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

Nike -- the only Fortune 500 company based in Oregon -- endorsed both SB1000 and SB1073 in a letter delivered to Senate leaders.

"Many of our employees' lives will be better because of the passage of these bills," wrote Wes Coleman, Nike vice president of global human resources.

Nike seems to have forgotten that a similar bill proposed in Washington state created a public relations nightmare for Microsoft that included boycott threats.

So let's put our personal beliefs aside for just a moment and think about the marketplace: The overwhelming majority of people in the world are heterosexual. The issue of homosexuality is a major hot-button. Nike wants to sell as many products as possible. But if Nike begins publically endorsing the homosexual agenda, they risk alienating the majority of the marketplace and plenty of long-time, loyal consumers.

Wrong message. Bad choice. Nike execs, what are you thinking?

The only people calling this a good business decision are the folks at the Gay Financial Network.
Whatever happened to simply selling quality products and staying out of heated moral and political issues?

I really thought the folks at Nike were smarter than that.

Someone needs to talk with Nike's branding department and go back over the basics with them.
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About Eric Wilbanks

Brand strategist. Wordsmith. Change architect. Training specialist. DiSC Certified. Family guy (hot wife and 4 cool kids). Love my Bible, guitars, baseball, and MMA.


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