NIKE ROARS ABOUT TIGER : FIRM CANCELS TV ADS TO TOUT WOODS COMMERCIALS WILL START ON WEEKEND.
Look out, world. Nike is unleashing its advertising armada on golf's newest darling.
The publicity push planned this weekend for Tiger Woods is remarkable even by Nike standards. Michael Jordan and Bo Jackson never got this kind of attention.
Nike is canceling all of its previously scheduled television ads through Monday night and replacing them with its first Woods ad.
It will be Tiger during college football, Tiger during Major League Baseball, Tiger during U.S. Open tennis, Tiger during SportsCenter and, of course, Tiger on Monday Night Football.
With clients such as Andre Agassi and Charles Barkley, Nike wrote the book on personality promotion in sports, and the company is certain it has a big-time acquisition in the 20-year-old Woods. Analysts say it's a gigantic coup for an athletic shoe and apparel company that's been an overpowering bully in most sports but a clumsy duffer in golf.
``Tiger Woods is to golf what Michael Jordan was to basketball for Nike,'' said Shelly Hale Young, senior analyst for Hambrecht & Quist, an investment bank in San Francisco. ``It's going to put them on the map.''
The blitz began Thursday when Nike purchased three full pages in the Wall Street Journal for $342,000.
In the ad, Woods recounts his career from the times he shot in the 70s when he was 8 to the conclusion of his amateur career Sunday with a dramatic victory that made him the first golfer to win three consecutive national titles.
``There are still courses in the United States that I am not allowed to play because of the color of my skin,'' the ad concludes. ``I've heard I'm not ready for you. Are you ready for me?''
Then there's a small picture of Woods and a Nike Swoosh, followed by the words ``Just Do It.''
The TV ad, still being completed Thursday, will have the same text as the newspaper ad, along with vintage film of Tiger growing up as a golfer. It is to be shown 28 times on various networks, beginning this afternoon during ESPN's coverage of the Milwaukee Open.
The reference to race matches the feelings of Woods, whose father is African-American and whose mother is Thai.
``Tiger Woods wants to be an ambassador of change in golf,'' said Merle Marting, spokesman for Nike's golf division. ``His goal is to bring more minorities to the game. The ad itself reflects his accomplishments and his personal experiences in golf.''
As he prepared to tee off for the first time as a professional Thursday at Milwaukee, there was no doubt about his commercial allegiance. He wore a black Nike shirt, black Nike cap and black Nike golf shoes.
There have been several reports that his deal with Nike is for $40 million over five years. Woods is worth it, Young said.
``Just the sheer media exposure that Tiger Woods will bring to Nike will more than pay for his contract,'' she said. ``That's not even considering what it will do for the footwear and apparel sales.''
Photo: (1--Color) Tiger Woods
Nike's new star
(2--Color) Going for green
Tiger Woods, who won his third consecutive U.S. Amateur title Sunday and turned pro Tuesday, has agreed to more than $40 million in endorsement contracts.
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Aug 30, 1996|
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