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.)



Third Round Play-Off Scores: Prep Football

Class 6A no local teams remaining Class 5A Rhea County 35 Oak Ridge 21 (FINAL) Class 4A no local teams remaining Class 3A Notre Dame 48 McMinn Central 7 (FINAL) Class 2A Marion County 41 Trousdale County 20 (FINAL) Class 1A Monterey 28 Copper Basin 8 (FINAL) Division II-AA MBA 31 Baylor 29  (FINAL) (click for more)

John Shearer: Remembering Pat Summitt’s First Team Of 40 Years Ago

Earlier this month, three middle-aged women significant in University of Tennessee sports history wandered through the halls of the Alumni Memorial Building in Knoxville near Neyland Stadium.   They seemed a little confused, and perhaps disheartened, to realize that certain hallways no longer lead to the gymnasium, and that the old water fountain they drank out of after ... (click for more)

County Schools Have Plan To Put Security Cameras At Every School

The Hamilton County Schools have a plan to put security cameras in every school, Supt. Rick Smith told the County School Board Thursday night. He said the money would come from the $2,201,000 the schools received last year from the sale of the old Ooltewah Elementary School property. The proposal must get approval from the School Board at the December meeting, then from the ... (click for more)

Lookout Mountain, Ga., Raises Sewer Rates; Joins In Kudzu Fight

The Lookout Mountain, Ga., City Council on Thursday night approved an increase in sewer charges. The council approved ordinance 281 increasing sewer rates to $6 per 100 cubic feet of water from the previous rate of $4.77.  The new increase will be in effect in January 2015.    City Manager Brad Haven said the town will be replacing the flow meter for ... (click for more)

Don't Allow Us To Be Overrun By People Who Do Not Belong Here - And Response (6)

Thank you, Senator Corker, for your clear, concise evaluation of the president's attempt to bypass Congress and personally and independently establish national policy that violates our current immigration laws.   Our long-standing failure to enforce our laws to control illegal immigration across our southern border has made this country less safe and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Pretty’ Seeking ‘Rich’

The story has been around for a while, long enough for the fact-checking Snopes.com to classify it as a “legend,” which means “great story but lacks validity,” so as we hope Tennessee’s football team can somehow beat 19 th -ranked Missouri in a rough-and-tumble game at Neyland Stadium tonight, allow me to share this because it is delightful just the same. The following is what ... (click for more)