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NEW NIKE COMMERCIAL ADDRESSES RACE ISSUE

 NEW NIKE COMMERCIAL ADDRESSES RACE ISSUE
 BEAVERTON, Ore., May 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE; PSE)


next week will begin airing a new television commercial that promotes racial harmony through the voice of filmmaker Spike Lee, Nike announced today.
 The setting is an outdoor basketball court called "Spike's Urban Jungle Gym," where black and white basketball players fire off a string of reasons for not playing with one another. Stepping between them is Lee, the acclaimed director of a series of films that deal with modern race relations in America, from "She's Gotta Have It" to "Jungle Fever." "If we're gonna live together, we gotta play together," Lee says.
 The commercial, and two companion pieces featuring Lee with Golden State Warriors All-Star point guard Tim Hardaway, were conceived by Nike's ad agency, Wieden & Kennedy, of Portland, Ore., in late 1991. Filming was done April 14-15, two weeks before the Los Angeles riots. Ironically, the setting for the commercials was an outdoor parking lot between 6th and Wilshire Blvd., near some of the worst of the Los Angeles unrest.
 "At Nike we believe that sport teaches us lessons about life -- things like the value of teamwork, dedication and hard work. When you step on a basketball court, what ought to matter is how well you play, not the color of your skin," said Philip H. Knight, chairman and chief executive officer of Nike. "That message was valid when the ad concept came together late last year, and even more so in the aftermath of the tragedy in Los Angeles."
 Lee, through his films, has spoken from the heart about the issue of race. He has also worked with Nike as a consultant on a range of social and community issues. The 1990 series of "Stay in School" commercials with Nike athlete Michael Jordan was one product of that relationship. The latest Urban Jungle Gym commercial is another.
 "This commercial is a reworking of a scene from my 1989 film 'Do the Right Thing' reflecting present attitudes," the filmmaker said. "The day this country honestly and truthfully starts to deal with racism will be the day we all move forward to solving this cancer that affects us all."
 In August, a line of sports apparel inspired by Spike's Urban Jungle Gym, including jackets, shirts, shorts and T-shirts, will go on sale through authorized Nike retailers. With graphics like "Live Together/Play Together" and "The Mo' Colors, The Mo' Better," the line will take the commercial's message straight to the streets. A portion of profits from the sale of this apparel will be donated to a national youth service organization which supports children of all colors through recreation and education programs.
 -0- 5/22/92
 /CONTACT: Spike Lee, 718-624-3703; or Dusty Kidd of Nike, 503-671-2880/
 (NKE) CO: Nike Inc. ST: Oregon IN: ADV SU:


LM-JH -- SE008 -- 3487 05/22/92 17:20 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 22, 1992
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