The brand new issue of Fast Company greeted me this morning with the cover shown here. My very first thought was how glad Fast Company and Nike must be they chose to feature Serena Williams — instead of Oscar Pistorius — aside Nike CEO, Mark Parker.
A murder charge ups the ante for Nike, who has had a number of scandals erupt with their spokesmen: Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong. Michael Vick, Kobe Bryant.
This seems an opportune moment to take a breath and make a small plug for female spokespeople. They typically cost less, behave better, and attract more attention by mere virtue of their novelty. In fact, Colavita, an Italian food company, has had such positive return on its investment of female cyclists that it allows them to also sponsor the men’s teams. Their VP of Marketing, John Profaci, explains:
“I would say traditionally, the most effective way for a company to promote its brand in any sport has been to enter it on the men’s side, simply because the media focus and attention remains skewed to the men’s teams. However, because data shows that women outnumber men when it comes to household-product purchasing decisions, this creates somewhat of a dilemma for brand marketers. Unlike other corporations who sponsor only men’s teams, Colavita sponsored both men’s and women’s team programs simultaneously. I’ve said this many times over the years: The reason we can support the pro men program is because of the value we receive supporting the women’s team.”
Food for thought.