OMG, Batman, Nike is brash.
That’s right Robin, and so’s Tiger Woods.
The news in this is…?
Yesterday we discussed Tiger Woods’ return to the #1 ranking in golf. On the heels of that Monday win at Bay Hill, Nike Tweeted a new ad congratulating Woods and re-associated its brand with the golfing legend.
In so doing, Nike caused a little controversy — resulting in millions more people seeing the ad and getting its message than might have if it had simply said “Way to go, Tiger. Welcome back.” Yawn.
The phrase “Winning takes care of everything,” as Tony Potts, writing on The Huffington Post, noted, is a frequent comment heard on sports teams since Little League. It simply means that winning covers a lot of problems. Your goalie’s asleep half the time? Your quarterback can’t throw the deep ball? Your shortstop in losing her range? Your point guard can’t hit the clutch three like he used to?
Doesn’t matter if you’re winning.
Now, in this context — even though Woods said it numerous times going back to 2009, before his infidelities and divorce — it was intended to raise eyebrows and controversy. It’s edgy. It’s in your face. It’s as subtle as a Woods fist pump on Sunday on 18 at Augusta.
And don’t think for a moment that the sun-drenched professional portraits of Woods and his new girlfriend Lindsey Vonn, announced last week, weren’t part of the campaign.
Bottom line: It all sells Nike golf products. Golfers, many of them anyway, want to be associated with #1. They want to see the black swoosh hang on the lip of the cup before a winning putt drops. They want to wear the red Nike shirt on Sundays. They want their irons to play like Tiger’s.
Nike’s advertising has always been edgy. Just Do It. Dark, rain-slicked streets. Runners in hoodies. Nike isn’t Proctor & Gamble. Wieden + Kennedy, a Portland, Oregon-based agency responsible was for Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign, also handles Nike Golf.
Do you think for an instant that Nike’s marketing folks and the agency’s creatives didn’t realize what they were putting out with the ad?
And let’s not forget Tiger, who’s very name suggests ferocity and tenacity. Do you think for another instant that he hasn’t waited years to say this publicly, to his fans and, of course, to his detractors.
It’s a winner. Get used to it.
The content of this blog is about crisis management and mismanagement in a digital age. It originates with Steve Bell, who spent 30 years as a journalist for the Associated Press and in four top editor positions at The Buffalo News. He is now Partner/Director of Public Affairs at Eric Mower + Associates, one of the nation’s largest independent advertising, integrated marketing and public relations agencies, with seven offices in the Northeast and Southeast. Learn more about EMA at http://www.mower.com. Steve’s blog is based on his own opinions and does not represent the views or positions of Eric Mower + Associates.