Nike Thanks Imus For Ignorance

Nike has launched itself on the higher ground of the controversy surrounding CBS Radio host Don Imus and his comments about the Rutgers University basketball team. Imus, earlier promoted by his station as the First Amendment at its best, and worst, made derogatory racist remarks about the women who had lost their game.

Nike says Thank You Ignorance


Outspoken Imus on April 4 called the Scarlet Knights “nappy-headed hos” following the team’s loss to the Tennessee Lady Vols in a NCAA national womens basketball championship game. Within the following week several sponsors of the Imus radio show were withdrawing their financial support, quick to distance themselves from such behavior. Imus was suspended on April 11 and finally dismissed on Thursday April 12.

Nike has sponsored the Rutgers’ men and women’s basketball teams for several years and felt “it was time to move the conversation forward,” according to Dean Stoyer, director of U.S. media relations for Nike. “It’s about reminding people that whether it’s racism, sexism, inequality or simply just ignorance to all of the above, that the conversation has been started, it’s been elevated and let’s keep it moving forward. Let’s not forget.”

The print ad, first published in the New York Times on Sunday April 15, has been continued online at Flip.com, Cosmogirl.com, Seventeen.com, ESPN.com, FoxSports.com and NikeWomen.com

Nike says Thank You Ignorance

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

Credits

The Thank You Ignorance ad was created by Wieden and Kennedy, Portland, Oregon.

Filed under: Nike, Print

Tagged:

Location:

  • John Cadley

    Thank you, Nike, for finding yet another way to sell sneakers by ingratiating yourself with the people who buy your products and making it look like outraged egalitarianism—OUTRAGED, I tell you!

  • the ho in idaho

    thank you nike .. I will buy new balance… do you sponsor VA. Tech? how about the VA. tech rifle team?

  • Alan MacRae

    Thank you Nike, for having the courage to turn something negative into a positive. Now if you could only get Don Imus back on the air. If Eddie Murphy had uttered the exact same phrase, no one would have even blinked.

  • Retro Sneakers

    I think Nike’s are going to the retro look now for the more casual crowd. Their athletic line is ugly, but I like the retro looking ones.