NIKE Reaches Accord With
Islamic Group - CAIR
BEAVERTON, Ore., June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- NIKE (NYSE:NKE) today announced an agreement
to ease Muslim concerns over the logo design on a range
of summer basketball products.
"Through a long process of discussion, we have
resolved our differences of opinion with the Muslim
community," said Martin Coles, NIKE's Vice President,
Europe, "While we never intended to offend, we did; we
have done everything possible to communicate our sincere
apologies and to address issues related to the
distribution of any products offensive to the Muslim
"The potential for confusion was first identified by
one of our Muslim distributors," said Coles, "We
immediately affected design alterations we believed
would avoid offense. Since CAIR's alert, we have worked
to mitigate the impact on the Islamic community, and
have made organizational changes to ensure that similar
misunderstandings are not repeated.
The chronology of this event includes the
1. In late September, NIKE's Muslim distributor in
the Middle East voiced concern over the logo appearing
on salesman samples of a range of summer basketball
shoes -- the script logo resembled the Arabic word
2. In addition to raising concern over this initial
logo design, their distributor also suggested a number
of ways to revise the logo that would (should) be
acceptable to the Muslim community.
3. A design change was immediately ordered. The
original logo was dropped, and the "A" was clearly
separated from the "ir" on the commercial version of the
4. In mid-March, NIKE received a letter from the
Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) alerting
them that samples of summer basketball shoes with the
original logo had been seen in the Muslim
5. On March 27, CAIR indicated that commercial
product with the amended logo, becoming available at
retail, included a graphic design that could still "be
interpreted as the Arabic word 'Allah.' CAIR demanded
the following of NIKE:
* an apology to Muslims
* an internal investigation of how this incident occurred.
* sensitivity training on Islam for Nike employees
* the immediate recall of all shoes using either offensive symbol
6. Since that time, NIKE has taken the following
steps to account for and resolve this issue:
7. NIKE has apologized to the Islamic community for
any unintentional offense to their
8. NIKE has implemented a global recall of the
original salesman samples, including an accounting of
any samples which may have been sold.
9. NIKE has diverted shipments of the commercial
products in question from "sensitive" markets. To date,
over 30,000 pairs have been diverted from Saudi Arabia,
Lebanon, Kuwait, Malaysia, Indonesia and Turkey.
10. NIKE has discontinued all models with the
offending logo. No further product with either version
of the logo will be produced.
11. NIKE has agreed to pull back all remaining
product in their distribution center.
12. NIKE has implemented organizational changes to
their design department to tighten scrutiny of logo
design. Responsibility has been centralized into one
department and all graphic designs must now be approved
by a design review board.
13. NIKE is working with CAIR to identify Muslim
design resources for future reference.
14. NIKE has taken measures to raise their internal
understanding of Islamic issues. Specifically:
* Worked with CAIR to identify reference materials to locate in their
* Scheduled a discussion on Islamic imagery at their next Design
* Centralize the graphic design process to ensure those with
familiarity in Islamic issues evaluate all graphic designs
* Conducted a formal investigation into this issue, and CAIR is
satisfied that no deliberate offense to the Islamic community was
"I am glad we were able to come to a mutually
acceptable understanding," said Coles, "I believe that
we emerge from this process with a deeper understanding
of Islamic sensibilities and a stronger bridge into
Source: NIKE Inc.
CONTACT: Roy Agostino of NIKE, Inc.,