Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Nike thanks Imus

+ Nike uses Imus controversy in ad.
The sports-apparel giant took out a full-page ad in the Sunday, April 15 edition of The New York Times, followed by banner ads on several websites that indirectly thank Mr. Imus for bringing the issues of race relations and sexism to the forefront.


The ad was done by longtime Nike agency Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore. Its only print execution was in the Times. This week, digital applications in the form of banner ads will run on,,,, and Each digital application will allow the user to send the ad to a friend.

Dean Stoyer, Nike's U.S. media-relations director, said the company was inspired by the women's team at Rutgers -- which happens to be a Nike school. Nike pays the school's men's and women's basketball teams to wear its apparel, and the company's "swoosh" logo appears on Rutgers uniforms and warm-ups.

"They represent what is good in sports and their accomplishments should be celebrated," Mr. Stoyer said. "We believe the elevated conversations around racism, sexism, inequality and disrespect in America need to move forward and not disappear when the events of the past weeks are no longer front-page news."
The copy of the ad reads:
"Thank you, ignorance.
Thank you for starting the conversation.
Thank you for making an entire nation listen to the Rutger's (sic) 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."

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