The Diary notes that Nike’s ability to back a loser has not deserted it.
The company’s accident-prone marketing department has an unenviable history of turning good players bad, a phenomenon now known as “The Curse of Nike”. The latest victim is England rugby skipper Phil de Glanville, who scowls out of the company’s latest poster ads above the tagline, “Be hard and be fast”.
The upshot of this advertising stardom is that de Glanville has failed to win selection for the British Lions tour of South Africa, despite 27 other Englishmen gaining a place.
Nike’s unfortunate track record in picking winners reached a peak during Euro 96 when it lauded Eric Cantona, David Ginola, Les Ferdinand and Paolo Maldini. The first three men either did not make the squad or failed to get a game. Maldini, along with the rest of the
Italian team, made an undistinguished exit in the first round of the competition.
The diary has little idea how much Nike pays its stars, but it is clearly not enough.