Nike find that Woods winning doesn’t really take care of everything

Sportswear giant faces criticism of new ad featuring Tiger Woods

The Nike ad on social media that has caused controversy.

The Nike ad on social media that has caused controversy.


Nike’s exuberance over Tiger Woods’ return to number one in the world is understandable. The company stood by Woods through his infidelity-fuelled fall from grace – unlike the way it dumped Lance Armstrong and Oscar Pistorius, albeit in far different circumstances. Nike quietly waited for Woods to start winning again.

But its choice of a celebratory quotation is being criticized. A Nike ad on social media sites features the quote “Winning takes care of everything”. Woods often says that when asked about his ranking and other golf-related matters. But if any company knows that winning does not take care of everything, it is Nike.

There was the hasty retreat from Armstrong as charges of using performance-enhancing drugs mounted. There was the scrubbing of Joe Paterno’s name off a child-care centre at the Nike campus after the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Before Pistorius was accused of murdering his girlfriend, Nike had run an ad with him featuring the quote, “I am the bullet in the chamber.”

On social media, many comments congratulated Woods, while others took exception.

“Nice message that you are sending to children,” wrote one commenter on the Nike Golf Facebook page. “So it doesn’t matter what kind of person you are, what your morals are, as long as you win?”

Nike officials defended the ad. Spokeswoman Beth Gast said in a statement: “When asked about his goals such as getting back to No. 1, he has said consistently winning is the way to get there. The statement references that sentiment and is a salute to his athletic performance.”
New York Times Service