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Nike and Liu Xiang: Crisis Management in Celebrity Endorsement    
 
Product Ref: 09/426C Company: Nike

Product Type: Case Industry: Consumer Goods

Related Product(s): Teaching Note
On 18 August 2008, Liu Xiang, China's biggest celebrity sports icon, withdrew from the 110-metre hurdles event at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games due to an Achilles injury. Liu was China's first-ever Olympic gold medallist in men's track and field; his victory at the 2004 Athens Olympics had made him an instant national hero. Since then, he had become the most marketed individual in China.

Liu's withdrawal from the Beijing Olympics not only caused disappointment among Chinese people who had high expectations for him defending his title on their home soil, but was also a blow to his sponsors, including Nike, who had invested millions of dollars in his celebrity. As soon as the news broke, Nike tweaked its advertising campaign and launched a new tagline: "Love competition. Love risking your pride. Love winning it back. Love giving it everything you've got. Love the glory. Love the pain. Love sport even when it breaks your heart." Would Nike be able to turn Liu's withdrawal from the Beijing Olympics into an opportunity to further boost its brand image? Against the backdrop of increasing nationalist sentiment in China, what were the implications of Liu's withdrawal? How could Nike avoid or minimise the losses that might result from Chinese consumers' disappointment?
Functional Area : Marketing

Issues: Role of celebrity endorsement in Chinese culture, Crisis management and communication, Media framing of celebrities both before and after a crisis.
Length: 21 pages Country: China (People's Rep. of)

Pub. Year: 2009 Level of Difficulty: 1
         
This product type is available in the following language(s):      English   Simplified Chinese
         
Related Information: N/A
 
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