Nike would very much like to direct your attention to Tiger Woods.
As ESPN reports, the sports apparel company came up with a timely and ultimately polarizing ad campaign following Woods' recent win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hills.
Without further ado, here is what all the fuss is about, via Nike's Facebook page.
ESPN does a great job of corralling some tweets that took offense to the campaign. It also spotted this one from Darren Rovell, which highlighted the fact that this ad is not all that offensive to the majority of fans.
Only 17.6% of those who voted say they think Nike's Tiger digital ad is offensive bit.ly/YGu3cO— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) March 26, 2013
Still, there were reports like this from the Atlantic Wire with a headline that read, "Nike Tells Tiger Haters to Shove It with 'Winning Takes Care of Everything' Ad."
And then there was sports columnist Christine Brennan, who was on CNN with Piers Morgan to discuss the ad, basically saying it was typical shock advertising from Nike.
Now, as ESPN points out, the ad is a quote Woods has used since 2009 to talk about his game and that of his opposition.
So there is some merit to the fact Nike was just putting out a classic quote that met the needs of topical advertising.
We aren't complete idiots, so we can get over that one rather quickly.
However, instead of wagging our fingers at Nike and saying, "Shame on you," perhaps we should reflect on some of the credence behind the motto—intentional or not.
I, for one, don't believe winning cures all ills. At the end of the day, Woods threw away a marriage and tore a family apart.
With that said—for the purpose of sport and marketing—Nike unfortunately has it right.
I think we can all be adult and admit Kobe Bryant is a far more marketable player after winning a couple championships, despite awful marital woes. Also, nobody ever raises some of the off-the-court allegations to hit Michael Jordan. At this point, Tiger Woods is in a better light than he once was.
Imagine if he won the Masters.
It's almost a given that many would forgive and champion players like Barry Bonds (a malcontent) or Lance Armstrong (a PED user and liar) if they had the opportunity to come back, compete and dominate.
The sports world has a short memory; we forget all about the success of former athletes and see the victories of current ones with far more gravitas.
Hell, Mike Tyson is now seen as cuddly.
Much is the same for a disgraced athlete. Given time and success, we tend to remember the more recent positive than the horrible past.
Not that this Nike campaign was a well-thought-out one.
It could have gone with a motto that might be far less emotionally charged and offensive. Then again, we wouldn't be talking about it now. Would we?
Still, you have to dig deep and consider whether you are really truly offended by the ad campaign. That would mean you haven't realized how true that sentiment has been for years.
I am not saying this is how it should be but merely how it is.
A better and truer motto might be "Winning Solves All Sports Marketing Issues," but that just wouldn't be as catchy.
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