Tuesday, August 15, 2006
While reading the sports page in today's newspaper as I flew to Nashville, Tennessee I noticed that New Orleans Saints (formerly University of Southern California) running back (that is American football for my non-American friends) Reggie Bush was fined US$10,000 for wearing "Adidas" cleats during a recent game versus the official "Nike" or "Reebok" shoe which the National Football League (NFL) requires. Mr. Bush was quoted as saying that "Adidas took care of the fine.............." so let me congratulate Adidas for a great week of advertising/earned media for a mere $10,000 in addition to a victory for personal freedom. This is a delicate balance/legal question here since it is clear that as the ultimate employer the NFL can mandate all aspects of what "uniform" players must wear including their cleats. From my perspective all parties -- Bush, Adidas, and the NFL -- won via a simple monetary fine with no injured parties.
The Reggie Bush news story reminded me of the August 14, 2006 clipping I made from USA Today showing a photograph of Cuban President (dictator) Fidel Castro relaxing after his recent surgery. The photo -- included in this blog posting -- shows Comrade Castro holding a copy of "Gramma" the Cuban newspaper published on August 12th as "evidence" that he is alive and well. Beyond the propaganda effort what I most noticed in Castro's photograph was that he was wearing a red, white, and blue polo shirt (the colors of the USA's national flag of course) complete with an "Adidas" logo on the right chest area!!!
Adidas is a German corporation thus a symbol of the Western capitalism/consumerism that the Cuban revolution abhors but perhaps Adidas' product placement gurus has exceeded all expectations by getting none other than Castro himself to wear their logo????!!!! Imagine the possibilities of such "celebrity" endorsements. What's next -- President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela joining Donald Trump to do Pizza Hut advertisements? All kidding aside -- I am left to wonder why Castro would choose to wear an Adidas-branded polo shirt versus his usual army fatigues.
The world -- it is a changin'