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Does Nike’s controversial ad with Tiger Woods speak to the nature of sports fans?

Does Nike’s controversial ad with Tiger Woods speak to the nature of sports fans?

When Nike released this controversial add with Tiger Woods which reads, “Winning takes care of everything” you immediately remember the scandal that rocked Tiger’s world and quieted his “roar” for a couple of years. Well, he’s won a few important tournaments and now, he’s back. Tiger Woods is again ranked the number one golfer in the world, and all it took was winning a few golf games.

Nike, known for it’s socially controversial ads seems to speak to more than just Tiger’s drama with this ad. It seems to speak to fan sentiment as whole.

Kobe Bryant, Ben Roethlisberger, Michael Irving, Warren Sapp, Metta World Peace, Serena Williams, and LeBron James are just a few of the athletes who’ve had some drama only to have it quickly forgiven and, sometimes forgotten once they win a championship and/or achieve some sports related achievement.

I’ve said it before that sports fans have short memories, and Tiger Woods is a clear case of sports fans‘ selective memory. We are at time the most judgmental, opinionated and demanding when it comes to the private lives and personal failures of our beloved athletes. In the same breath, we defend them, tell others to “move on” and move to quickly support them, usually after a championship.

Though, it’s not true for all athletes. Marketing experts say winning isn’t everything:

“What strikes me about the idea that while winning may take care of everything, maybe that’s not true for everybody,” said Bill Glenn, senior vice president of the Marketing Arm. “He could win every tournament for the rest of his career, but there are going to be people who’ll never forgive him. There’s that adage that winning may be everything, but for Tiger is might not be the only thing.”

The scandals with Barry Bonds, Mike Tyson and most recent, Lance Armstrong may be the best examples of this point. However, time will tell where they ultimately fall in the eyes, minds and hearts of sports fans.

Nike’s ad may remind us of the womanizing Tiger Woods engaged in, but it should also remind us of our own double-standard when it comes to our athletes.

Perhaps Nike got it right. Maybe winning really does take care of everything.

What do you think?

Your Jersey Girlfriend,

~Angela Davis

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