Nike vs. FIFA and an Inscrutable Bud Light AD 

Nike vs. FIFA and an Inscrutable Bud Light AD

-For more on the pseudo-demise of the WUSA, first--for all I know, and care--suggested in this space last week, check out Mike Fish's piece on's soccer page. Oh, sweet vindication. Check back next week to find out where Jimmy Hoffa is buried, who killed JFK, and how that mongoloid Oliver Stone is still allowed to make movies.

-Those gentle souls of Nike Corp. sued FIFA this over the copyrights to "USA 2003," which Nike is using in its ads running during the current Women's World Cup. FIFA claims the phrase belongs to them just as "France 98" and "Japan/Korea 2002" have in the past. Nike, whose past court combatants have included a tiny jeweler in Michigan who unwittingly put a pair of counterfeited Nike earrings up for sale as well as a labor rights activist who took the behemoth all the way to the Supreme Court in a free speech case (Nike settled out of court), is trying to swat a pretty big fly in FIFA. The Switzerland-based body regularly gets nine figures in World Cup sponsorship deals from the world's biggest companies, like Coke and Anheiser-Busch. But Nike, the world's largest sports clothing and equipment manufacturer and unquestioned grand masters of marketing, has always stayed away--in an official sense, anyway--from the world's biggest sporting event, as well as the women's Cup (although it did get some nice exposure in 1999 when Brandi Chastain went Christina Aguilera on us and revealed the swoosh under her shirt). It will be interesting to how things play out in this court case between two giants who clearly don't need each other.

-As Raiders' QB Rich Gannon would say, maybe I'm just some "jake" soccer writer, but I find Bud Light's new Women's World Cup commercial with Julie Foudy and Aly Wagner in a court room to be as discerible as Arnold Schwarzenegger busting out a DMX flow. They could have had Fellini or Bergman direct it and it would have made more sense. I can't tell if the puctured and deflated soccer ball is supposed to indicate a coming feminist rebellion against that oh-so-great beer-swilling, fart-knocking patriarchy or simply an abandonement by Bud of the Whassup!, knee-to-the-crotch humor that is the envy of all booze commercials. Either way, I'm scared.

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Sun Oct 16, 2005 12:19 am MST by Lakers Tickets

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