Leave it to Nike to use the Don Imus controversy as the source for an ad campaign. In this print ad that began running on April 15, the sports apparel company has taken the comments made by the ugliest man on radio and turned them into an opportunity “…to move the conversation forward,” according to Dean Stoyer, director of U.S. media relations for Nike.
Nike’s connection to the situation is that it has outfitted the men’s and women’s basketball teams at Rutgers for several years. In thanking Imus – without actually naming him – for “unintentionally moving women’s sport forward”, Nike has taken the high road. While most advertisers dropped the talk-show host like a bad habit, this ad put the focus back where it belonged, on Rutgers and the team’s accomplishments.
Side note to Nike: Give some thought to taking a small slice out of your advertising budget to put towards spell check. Even I know it’s not Rutger’s. It’s good that you caught this for subsequent buys, but you were a little quick on the trigger the first go-round. Doh.