Nike 'Just Doesn't Do It' for Women's soccer.

Discussion in 'Business and Media' started by DoyleG, Oct 18, 2003.

  1. DoyleG

    DoyleG Moderator
    Staff Member

    FC Edmonton
    Jan 11, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    FC Edmonton
    Nat'l Team:
  2. Treetaliano

    Treetaliano Member

    Jun 29, 2002
    San Diego
    So this chick wants charity. Got it.

    What she fails to realize is that $111M spent on James and Anthony will result in a net gain for Nike. $20M into the former WUSA would have resulted in a net $20M loss.
  3. DoyleG

    DoyleG Moderator
    Staff Member

    FC Edmonton
    Jan 11, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    FC Edmonton
    Nat'l Team:
    Difference between LeBron and the WUSA?

    LeBron can guarentee a return for them.
  4. DoctorD

    DoctorD Member+

    Sep 29, 2002
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Difference between LeBron and WUSA?

    LeBron wears shoes that can be worn by anyone - basketball player or not. The target market may buy 3 - 5 pairs of shoes a year. These shoes are THE status item for the target market, so a lot of disposable income will go toward their purchase. Shoes made in Asia = high profit margins.

    Mia Hamm-endorsed soccer cleats can only be used by soccer players whose foot happens to fit. Target market buys only 1 - 2 pairs a year. These shoes are NOT the status item for the target market. Shoes made in Europe = lower profit margin.

    Why is anyone complaining about the difference in support?
  5. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What gets me about this "Save WUSA" campaign is that they want two different things. While, on the one hand, they envision WUSA acting as something other than a traditional sports league, as a conduit for the hopes and dreams of young girls (sounds corny, IS a little corny, but that's not necessarily a bad thing). Something about more than profit. It was about the league as a whole, or about women's soccer in general--in fact, it was about the "girls" in "girls sports" more than the "sports" part. Fair enough--if I had daughters, I'd probably get on board. Role models, all that. Very unconventional, a whole new way of looking at the function and purpose of a professional sports league.

    But then they turn right around and operate the whole enterprise in an entirely tradtional manner, as a typical pro sports league. With an economic plan and marketing approach borrowed wholesale from other sports leagues.

    They want the best of both worlds, and this really bothers me. If they want WUSA to be something different, something about the girls and the sport of women's soccer, then they should set it up that way, find a new approach.
    On the other hand, if they are going the traditional route--franchises, looking for local support (rather than young girls there to yell for their favorite National team player--regardless of team), and a league with 'Major-league' aspirations aimed at cultivating a fan base interested in following those teams LOOKING TO MAKE A PROFIT at some point--then they need to bite bullett and play be the same rules that the other leagues do.

    It's one or the other...WUSA2 (if it happens, and I wish them the best) had better learn from this, and pick which path it wants to follow.
  6. Sachin

    Sachin New Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    La Norte
    DC United
    The way those women spent money, not even that long.

  7. Davids26

    Davids26 Member

    May 31, 2000
    This article just sounds like more of the same "Hopes and Dreams for young women" that this WWC and league has been based around. That raylling cry has gotten old and it's no longer winning anyone over.

    Don't blame Nike for making a smart business decision. That's what they are a business, an established business. WUSA was a 3 year failure.
  8. DennisM

    DennisM Member

    Dec 10, 2000
    Nya Sverige
  9. owendylan

    owendylan Member

    May 30, 2001
    DC United
    Of course the writer forgets to mention the sponsorship of the USSF by Nike which allows programs like the USWNT and all the associated youth National Teams to exist, or that allowed the USWNT to go into a full-time residency program before the 99 Cup and paid the players like full-time pro's so they didn't have to have another job. You can accuse Nike of a lot of things but shirking their fiduciary responsibility to it's shareholders is not one of them. It would be nice if companies like Nike were more socially responsible and would prop up something like the WUSA but they are a business, if they want a free ride find a non-profit organization with a couple billion lying around that it doesn't need to feed starving children or immunize an entire continent from disease. I like women's soccer, but this sense of entitlement, just because they are women who play sports is going a bit too far. So i guess these companies are oppressing women for not give them money that they give male athletes or sports teams? I'm waiting for the discrimination lawsuit!! I'm sick of parents who look to external things to hold up as a role model for their own kids. What, they can't help their daughters become healthy, productive, active, confident women?!? To lambast one of the few companies who has been supportive of women's athletics is bitinig the hands that feeds you.
  10. Femfa

    Femfa New Member

    Jun 3, 2002
    Los Angeles
    It seems this article is at least partly about ratio. So this soccer mom says that she and her daughter (and many other females, athletes and otherwise) have bought much Nike soccer equipment.

    Pretty valid assumption, since soccer is arguably the number one girls' sport in the U.S. today.

    They've done this perhaps partly because Nike has sold itself as a supporter of women's sports.

    She feels cheated by the realization that Nike takes the money of these female consumers and spends it on an advertising budget that is expensively and overwhelmingly male.

    She points out that for the cost of sponsoring 2 male athletes, Nike could have supported a whole league for a couple of years.

    Who does Nike sponsor, female wise, besides Mia? What fraction of their budget, if you broke it down between male athletes and female ones, goes to females? Now, how much of their sales product goes to female consumers? Is the ratio proportional?

    No one is suggesting that there be a business Title IX - this writer is just exercising her right as a consumer to decide that Nike isn't being fair, their overcoating of supporting women's sports is just a light sugarcoat, and that in reality, thier support is marginal at best. So she stops buying Nike products. She asks others to look at the ratios she has pointed out, and do the same.

    That's all.
  11. Casper

    Casper Member+

    Mar 30, 2001
    New York
    Nike is paying Lebron $90 million because they believe they will make more than that selling his shoes, and they believed adidas or someone else might pay nearly $90 million.

    Nike is paying one of their "Godesses" $2,500 because that player has no other endorsment opportunity, and is only making $30,000-50,000. That player is more than happy to accept a $2,500 endorsement contract.

    If you are not a professional athlete, and make less than a few hundred thousand a year, think about what your answer would be if someone offered you a $2,500 endorsement contract, payable in stuff that you really wanted. Unless you thought you'd get more from someone else, you'd say, "Yes."
  12. Femfa

    Femfa New Member

    Jun 3, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Oh, yeah, cause nothing could possibly happen to James that would make the 100 mill look like a waste.

    "Highest possibility of return" is very debatable.
  13. CUS

    CUS New Member

    Apr 20, 2000
    Which part of Nike's 'we don't sponsor sports leagues' don't these people understand?

    Edit->I found the link here in the Washngton Post

  14. stanleyt

    stanleyt Member

    Dec 7, 1998
    Harlem, USA
    The thing is, LBJ's Nike $$$ aren't guaranteed. His endorsement contract could be dropped at any time for moral(Kobe Bryant) or performance/economic reasons.

    The difference between having LBJ endorse Nike products and funding WUSA is that there will be a definite initial return on their investment w/LeBron. If, after a couple of disappointing seasons(2ppg, 0 assists, etc) the numbers don't work. LeBron could be dropped & the swoosh'll move on to another supposed phenom or campaign. However, there'll be plenty of kids in your neighborhood, mine and worldwide rockin' the new Air LeBrons(at over $100 a pair).

    WUSA, needs to change it's business plan yesterday, in order to lure sponsor dollars. Sure, Nike could fund the league for another season but the existing business plan and management has failed the league, sponsors, players and fans. That has to change before folks will pony up and just give $$$ for "the cause."

    This kinda reminds me of the Hale House fiasco of a couple years back. Hale House was a organization that provided care for drug addicted infants and children. The organization received donations and funding from celebrities, businesses and regular folk. However, it was revealed that money wasn't going to the children's care due to mismanagment and misapropriations by Clara Hale's daughter and her husband. The State of New York stepped in, created a board to assess how the organization could be run better, sought out individuals from the private sector to properly and efficiently operate the charity and then allowed it to start soliciting donations again.

    I'm not saying there should be federal intervention but the house needs to be cleaned up and in a correct frame of mind before we can start pilloring companies for supposedly not doing "the right thing."

    WUSA will rise again but it won't be the WUSA that we used to know. In the long run, that will be a good thing.
  15. Lanky134

    Lanky134 New Member

    Oct 25, 1999
    134, 3, 6
    So Nike increased their support each year and this person is complaining because they didn't give enough?

    Does she complain about the quality of a free meal, too?
  16. txlaird

    txlaird Member

    Oct 22, 1999
    Movin' to Texas
    wow the air of entitlement is sure sad to see. With only 4,000 pairs of eyes a game, .1 ratings on PAX and Nike seeing the cash engulfment of Snr WUSA mgmt, is there serious questions about Nike making a business decision? Nike's commitment is to their share holders. I feel confident that if the MLB wanted Nike to share in part of the profits and be part of their mgmt infrasture, Nike would be on board in a second.

    Come on ladies--I respect what has been accomplished, I enjoy watching the odd game, but this is a BUSINESS. Gender socialism is not a good thing.
  17. the101er

    the101er New Member

    Jan 29, 2003
    Given Nike's history and the fact that Phil Knight is still in charge, I think you would lose that bet. Most people are too young or not so deeply involved in the sporting goods industry to understand the Nike philosophy.

    When Nike came into being, adidas and Puma were paying off the IOC, FIFA, leagues, anybody in control who could make them money. What Nike has done -- and what they will probably be remembered for 100 years from now -- is put the money in the hands of the actual athletes, putting the actual butts, in the actual seats. Yes, Nike is guilty of all sorts of big time atrocities, like paying workers in China more than the average medical doctor in China earns... ...but admitting their transgressions, they have fundamentally altered the playing field for the athletes' benefit.

    Also, I read a good article in last week's Soccer America about the demise of WUSA, and these people quoting $20 million are dreaming. The league blasted through over $100 million in its first year of existence. $20 million is not going to solve this problem.

    MLS is in sad shape. Unless WUSA can be structured in a fashion that will support MLS and not just drain more resources (or compete for limited resources) then the Women's league should be allowed to die.

    The Women need to start thinking about all of the positives that are still out there. NCAA Women's soccer is incredible to watch and has fantastic atmosphere. It also provides opportunities for continuing in the game as a coach. And there are opportunities everywhere to continue as a youth pro coach.

    Why not structure regional semi-pro leagues for women who want to continue to play? As these begin to develop, then bring back a national Women's soccer league.

    Just do the math. A ten team league of professional players is going to cost at least $10 million (20 players per team, $50k average salary) and that's with no front office, no league office and no stadium leases. So, figure (conservatively) 200% overhead and the cost goes up to $30 million.

    ASSUMPTIONS: If you are paying less than $50k per player is it really professional? Yes, you can cut the team rosters down, but you know what, it's nice to occasionally be able to play a full scrimmage in practice, and with 20 players you can't do that. 200% overhead: that might be debatable, but so far it's proved conservative and that's a norm for my industry, manufacturing.

    Now, the question I have for WUSA's current (now defunct) management: how did you spend all that money and gain no particular capital assets? Because, that would be a good place to restart the league, at least if there was a tangible league office somewhere, some computers, anything....

    So, to conclude this impromptu ramble: focus on Women's soccer positives (maybe Mia Hamm would do more good as head coach at UNC), build a grassroots league structure, and bring back the professional league at some point in the future when the numbers make sense.

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