Nike Reacts To A-Rod
CNBC Sports Business Reporter
After Alex Rodriguez' ESPN interview aired tonight, in which he admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs, the slugger's most valuable endorser, Nike issued this comment.
"Nike does not condone the use of illegal substances in sport and agrees with Alex Rodriguez that they should not be used. We will have no further comment at this time."
Rodriguez has served as an endorser for the shoe and apparel brand since he came into the league in 1994.
Nike's statement is in line with how they've reacted in the past to athletes who have admitted or have been found to have used performance-enhancing drugs.
The company simply didn't renew both Marion Jones and Jason Giambi in 2005. In Giambi's case, he signed with Reebok at the end of the season.
The only time Nike actually made a change while someone was under contract was in 2006, when it terminated its contract with coach Trevor Graham and suspended its contract with Justin Gatlin for their role in the BALCO scandal.
The company that might be most affected by the news is Dick's Sporting Goods . The company has been the exclusive retailer of A-Rod's cleats for the last three years and a fresh batch of this year's model hit floor shelves in the Northeast just days ago.
Dick's chief marketing officer Jeff Hennion told CNBC that "it's too early too tell" what the impact will be. Even still, Rodriguez' cleats typically have made up a tiny portion of overall cleat sales in the stores. Rodriguez was used the past two years in spots for Dick's in conjunction with Nike, but was not scheduled to be used this year.
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