Nike’s Tiger Woods advertisement draws flak

Nike's exuberance over Tiger Woods' return to No. 1 in the world is understandable. The company stood by Woods through his infidelity fueled fall from grace - unlike the way it dumped the cyclist Lance Armstrong and the runner Oscar Pistorius, albeit in far different circumstances. Nike quietly waited for Woods to start winning again. But its choice of a celebratory quotation is being criticised.

A Nike ad on social media sites features the quote "Winning takes care of everything" over a photo of Woods lining up a putt. Woods often says that when asked about his ranking and other golf-related matters. But if any company knows that winning does not take care of everything, it is Nike, which has inched away from several famous endorsers recently.

There was the hasty retreat from Armstrong as charges of using performance-enhancing drugs mounted. There was the scrubbing of Joe Paterno's name off a child-care center at the Nike campus after the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Before Pistorius was accused of murdering his girlfriend, Nike had run an ad with him featuring the quote, "I am the bullet in the chamber." On social media, many comments congratulated Woods, while others took exception. "Nice message that you are sending to children," wrote one commenter on the Nike Golf Facebook page. "So it doesn't matter what kind of person you are, what your morals are, as long as you win?" Nike officials defended the ad.

"Tiger has always said he competes to win," the Nike spokeswoman Beth Gast said in a statement. "When asked about his goals such as getting back to No. 1, he has said consistently winning is the way to get there. The statement references that sentiment and is a salute to his athletic performance."

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