Friday, November 13

Adidas and the Mascot


With all the overly dramatic hype surrounding the scandalous "red cup" this week, I almost forgot to comment on the Adidas initiative that I think may have fallen off the radar but is certainly worthy of note and comment.

Adidas has offered to support any high school sports team who would like to change its reference to Native Americans. Evidently there are over 2,000 high schools in the US who use Native American references in their sports teams/mascots. Adidas will offer financial assistance towards re-naming, re-logoing, and re-executing a revised version.

Timing is everything...the brand paired the announcement with this week's White House Tribal Conference. Obama himself commented positively on the Adidas move.

While many applaud the initiative, there were some skeptics and critics, mostly noting that Adidas should mind its own business since it supplies sporting good apparel to many teams, including professional teams that also have such references.

I grew up and went to high school in a different era, so this concern wasn't top of mind back then for me and I honestly never really connected the imagery to racism ... but that's just me honestly being naive. It upsets a great many people and for that reason alone it is due its fair consideration.

As for Adidas having a voice in it all, I am personally a fan for brands having a point of view, particularly when it is related to their business. No one has to agree with that point of view, and in fact we can all vote with our dollar.

Just like with the now infamous red cup.

What's your experience? JIM.

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