Lee Davis: Somebody Ought To Lose Their Job At Nike, Meb Keflezigh Wins Olympic Marathon Trials

Saturday, January 14, 2012 - by Attorney Lee Davis
Lee Davis
Lee Davis

Meb Keflezighi won today’s Men’s Olympic Marathon trials in Houston. Meb, 36-years old, ran a personal best to win the race and qualify for the 2012 Men’s Olympic Marathon Team. Keflezighi’s time of 2:09:07 was just shy of an American Olympic trials record, with Ryan Hall, the race favorite, coming in second and finishing just under the 2:10 mark.

Meb was representing Sketchers as Nike dropped him as an athlete in 2011. That is why I say someone at Nike should lose their job. Previously he had been a Nike athlete, and most in the sport associated him with Nike. Can you imagine the conversation in Beaverton, OR, next week? A Senior V.P. at Nike is going to call in some Stanford MBA on Monday to explain how in the world Nike got scooped by Sketchers in the most important running event to be held every four years on American soil, the Olympic Marathon Trials.

Q: How come Meb was wearing a New York AC uniform, and what was that on his feet?

A: We don’t have him as an athlete at Nike anymore, and I think those were Heelies or Shetchers or something, bad orange.

Q: He is not a Nike athlete?

A: No.

Q: Didn’t he win the New York City Marathon a couple years ago?

A: Yes, 2009.

Q: Didn’t he get a silver medal in the 2004 Olympics?

A: Yes, Athens, looked great in that white USA jersey and his Nikes.

Q: Who did he represent then?

A: Nike.

Q: Doesn’t he have some compelling personal story?

A: Yes, his dad walked the family across 500 miles of desert in Africa to escape war in Eritrea. Meb grew up in America and loves the USA and proudly represents our nation. He even wrote a book about it, Run to Overcome. And he has a quote that sums it up: ”Like the marathon, life can sometimes be difficult, challenging and present obstacles; however, if you believe in your
dreams and never ever give up, things will turn out for the best.” – Meb

Q: And, you’re sure he is no longer a Nike athlete? We usually grab up those personal interest stories, war, Africa, just do it stuff.

A: No, we let him go so we could hire another bench-sitting baby in the NBA…marketing said that was the way to go. Meb has no tattoos.

Q: How much was he asking for?

A: Three years at about $250k a year…the same as the NBA guy makes in about 15 minutes.

Q: So who is he representing?

A: Sketchers?

Q: Who do they have?

A: Dancing with the Stars host Brooke Burke.

A: And now Meb in the 2012 Olympics in London.

NBC covered the trials for two hours Saturday afternoon from 3-5 pm (EST), and for the better part of the coverage it was a duel with Meb (Sketchers) and Hall (Asics). On the podium Nike can take small solace in the fact that they did have an athlete as the last qualifier on the podium. Maybe a new ad campaign will come of it: Just Do It…third.

Consider this: The 2004 Olympic silver medalist and 2009 New York City Marathon champion, Meb Keflezighi was sponsored by Nike until that ended earlier this year, purportedly because they couldn’t agree on a contract amount. Surely Meb’s request is a small number compared to what the Nike brand would have yielded from an Olympic spotlight. And, that Sketchers did sign Meb underscores the point. As far as I know, Sketchers doesn’t have serious running shoes. You can, however, get excellent Bella Ballerina shoes; check their website.

A bad day for marketing in Beaverton.

Good luck, Meb, in London!

America is behind you 100 percent.

(Lee Davis is a Chattanooga attorney who can be reached at lee@davis-hoss.com or at 266-0605.)




Crossville Speedway Adds 3 More UCRA Races To Fall Schedule

The Crossville (TN) Speedway has agreed to three additional Fall 2017 events with the United Crate Racing Alliance (UCRA) to wrap up their racing season with a bang.   The "CROSSVILLE CLASSIX” weekend event will now take Round # 14 &15 of the 2017 season with two back to back full shows  on Friday  and  Saturday, Oct. 13 and 14 . The Crate Late ... (click for more)

Baylor Stays Unbeaten With Volleyball Sweep Of CCS

Baylor's unbeaten volleyball season continued Monday with a sweep of Chattanooga Christian at Baylor, the Lady Red Raiders winning by scores of 25-9, 25-12 and 25-12. Ally Craig had 11 kills and eight digs for Baylor while Sarah Sumida finished with 35 assists and Sarah Barker seven kills.  A.J. Johnson had eight kills and a dozen digs to lead the Lady Chargers while Rachel ... (click for more)

Mark Wharton Named Vice Chancellor And Director Of Athletics

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Chancellor Dr. Steven Angle announced Mark Wharton as the Mocs' new vice chancellor and director of athletics on Tuesday.  A press conference introducing Mr. Wharton is scheduled for  Wednesday, at  2 p.m.  in the Chattanooga Room in the University Center.  Community members, fans and supporters are invited to ... (click for more)

Government Paid Almost $181,000 In Social Security Benefits To Sewanee Man After He Died In 1988; Hawkins Charged With Embezzlement

The Social Security Administration paid almost $181,000 in benefits to a Sewanee man after he died in 1988, federal prosecutors said. The government learned in 2014 that the money designated to Walter Acton was going to a man living in his home at 3932 Jump Off Road - Edward Hawkins. Hawkins has agreed to plead guilty to embezzlement in the case. Prosecutor Perry Piper said ... (click for more)

The Soul Of Chattanooga Is In Trouble

As a child growing up in the Chattanooga area, at an early age I became fascinated with the history that cloaks the city. In those days there was enough pollution to cover the town and its history but that didn't stop tourists from coming to visit Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and the Chickamauga battlefield.     Chattanooga's leadership was not very far sighted ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Writing From Bragg Avenue

Far and away, my favorite comment on destroying statues appeared on my Facebook page the other day and, believe it or not, it was the clear-minded Times Free Press Sports Editor Stephen Hargis who penned, “This statue offends me! It must be torn down!” Underneath his fiery words, the long-suffered UT football fan posted a picture of the bronze monument outside of Bryant-Denny stadium ... (click for more)