Back in 2006, during the inaugural World Baseball Classic, Derek Jeter came up to the plate in a big spot of a close game. Sitting on my sofa at home, rooting for Team USA, I was overwhelmed with this strange, unrecognizable feeling of… confidence. Typically, when No. 2 of the New York Yankees dug in to the batter’s box at a crucial moment, I was filled with dread, since he routinely broke my heart by coming through with clutch hits against my favorite teams (e.g., Mets, Orioles, anyone not the Yankees). But at that moment, wearing the USA across his chest, he was the only person you wanted up in that situation, and for once, I got to root for him and not pray against him. It felt weird… but pretty great. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Nike (1-3 of 3)
On June 12, host-country Brazil meets Croatia in the first match of the FIFA World Cup, ushering in a month of sports insanity that will likely even penetrate the American sports consciousness — no matter how much we want to snub the sport of soccer. (Er, football.) You know how the NFL likes to boast that its Super Bowl is viewed by more than a billion people? Well, that’s a complete myth. But the World Cup final on July 13 will be the most watched television program of the year around the globe. Four years ago, the championship match between Spain and Netherlands in South Africa was viewed on TV by an estimated 700 million people. There’s a reason it’s called The World’s Game.
So get ready to learn all about Ronaldo, Messi, and Neymar Jr, LeBron-level superstars in the planet’s most popular sport. Nike, which generates nearly $2 billion each year in soccer-related revenue, recently unveiled a glorified commercial for their “Risk Everything” campaign, featuring animated versions of their most popular players. It was conceived and produced by Nike and their advertising agencies, but it feels like a Pixar short, with a nefarious villain who wants to clone some of the world’s best players and “improve” them by stripping them of their penchant for beautiful risk-taking.
It’s a perfect — and presumably expensive — bauble in Nike’s “Risk Everything” campaign, and not the worst introduction to World Cup madness. Even Tim Howard, who will likely start in goal for the Americans when they face Ghana on June 16, gets a spot on Nike’s Incredibles-like team.
Watch the clip below: READ FULL STORY
Convicted dog-killer Michael Vick remains welcome at Nike. So is serial philanderer Tiger Woods. Back in 2009, when Alex Rodriguez admitted using steroids to help him hit home runs, Nike stood by him and fulfilled his contract (until they quietly let it expire). But today, the billion-dollar sports apparel company found religion and cut ties with Lance Armstrong after the United States Anti-Doping Agency published evidence from its investigation into performance-enhancement doping. Accusations have always swirled around Armstrong, who recovered from cancer to win an unprecedented seven Tour de France races, but he’d never tested positive and repeatedly and passionately denied ever cheating.
Apparently, the latest revelations, which include sworn testimony from 11 former teammates, were the final straw. “Due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade, it is with great sadness that we have terminated our contract with him,” Nike said in a statement. “Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner. Nike plans to continue support of the Livestrong initiatives created to unite, inspire and empower people affected by cancer.”
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