Nike supports legends: athletes, feats of athletic triumph, and the human spirit. Sometimes those 30-second ad spots are followed by a legendary fall from grace.
Last week Nike suspended their endorsement of Oscar Pistorius, Olympic and Paralympic hero, whilst he is in court on murder charges. Nike's support of the fastest man on no legs was controversial in itself as Pistorius completed in the London Olympics against able-bodied competitors. It is the third time in three years Nike has had to distance himself from an icon which is has unabashedly supported: Last year was Lance Armstrong as he admitted to using performance enhancing drugs. And previous to that, Tiger Woods and his indiscretions.
Much of the coverage, as it relates to Nike, touches on the company's need to be more cognizant of their brand ambassadors in the digital age, such as the BOF article here. Appreciating athletes who make mistakes as many other humans do is something that is perhaps more difficult to do. Buzzfeed's article here.