Nike buys USATF? At least masters can expect free uniforms
USATF‚Äôs ‚Äúfan page‚ÄĚ on Facebook included these comments:
BREAKING: USATF Championships to be corrupt for foreseeable future. So, all Nike-sponsored athletes will now get a 5-second head start in all competitions!‚Ä® this just in‚Ä¶ no other apparel, shoe or any other company will be allowed to use the words ‚ÄėTrack and Field‚Äô without paying a royalty to Nike‚Ä® NIKETF ‚Äď finding new ways to screw athletes, limit earning potential and being less professional than a backyard game of horseshoes since 1991. This just in: Max Siegel‚Äôs office relocated under Alberto Salazar‚Äôs desk.‚Ä®
Track & Field News editor Garry Hill commented:
Amid all the hysteria this announcement is generating, allow me to suggest there‚Äôs perhaps a very big positive here.
I‚Äôve said many times that there was impending doom coming for the sport the day that Phil Knight is out of the picture and the corporate bean-counters decide to walk away from this low-rated sport completely, in which case there‚Äôs nothing left.
There is now a hedge against that, and you‚Äôll forgive me if I like that bit of security.
A letsun.com column says:
In a rare act of transparency, [USATF CEO Max] Siegel offered great detail on how today‚Äôs agreement will greatly enhance USATF‚Äôs finances. In addition to Nike upping its sponsorship by 100%, a key part of the deal that many may not grasp initially is that USATF will now be able to eliminate its marketing, timing and communications budgets.
‚ÄúSince USATF is officially part of Nike, there is no need to pay flashresults.com for their timing services. We can just put down the results the way Phil (Knight) wants them. He‚Äôs promised to talk to Alberto (Salazar) on Monday before every USA meet and email us a file of the desired results by Wednesday,‚ÄĚ said Siegel who added that he thought his background in NASCAR, where things are often fixed allowed him to be creative enough to conceive of the deal.
‚ÄúWe also are likely to be able to totally eliminate both our PR and marketing departments. We don‚Äôt need a marketing staff any more as there‚Äôs no need to try to sell the sport to anyone else. Non running companies don‚Äôt care anyway and thus we were spending more trying to get than we were actually bringing in. As for PR, there is no one better at PR than Nike. When they promote themselves, they‚Äôll be promoting us,‚ÄĚ added Siegel.
USATF masters track already has a volunteer marketing arm ‚ÄĒ led by Bob Weiner ‚ÄĒ but when Nike takes over, will masters get help or ignored? Guess we‚Äôll have to see.
In the meantime, lets take the masters pulse.
And what are YOUR hopes for the Nike deal?