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Nike to Sponsor Latest Round of Middle East Peace Talks

As the Palestinian Intifada rages on amidst an orgy of carnage with no apparent end in sight, athletic apparel giant Nike has stepped in to do its part. The company has announced that it will be the title sponsor of the newest round of peace talks between representatives from the Israeli government and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (P.L.O.).

"Stylish, high-performance athletic wear and footwear make for smooth peace negotiations," said Nike President and CEO Phil Knight, who bristled when it was suggested by a Danish reporter in attendance that the footwear giant has undertaken this initiative for product placement and brand loyalty purposes. Knight insisted that the company's motives are purely altruistic, adding that Nike is committed "to peace on earth."

Added Knight: "Forget about centuries of confrontation between Jews and Palestinians, how could you possibly think about rock throwing and bombings when you're staying cool and fresh in a Dri-Fit athletic top?"

Knight refused to disclose the amount his company paid for the sponsorship deal.

Under the terms of the sponsorship agreement, all participants in the emergency peace talks in the disputed West Bank will receive a complementary pair of Air Jordan XVI Low 'Convertible' sneakers, a Nike 'West Bank Peace Talks 2001' warm-up suit and a gym bag full of various clothing and other Nike apparel such as swimwear and sunglasses.

PLO Leader Yassir Arafat responds to media enquiries regarding the awesome traction of Nike golf shoes.

Plans are also underway for Nike's two biggest sponsored athletes, Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan, to be flown in for the talks as special Nike emissaries for peace.

"This announcement will help work to achieve a lasting peace, eventually ending the terror that has crippled our region, while also providing us with comfortable, supportive, cutting-edge Nike footwear and athletic wear," said Simon Rivlin, a spokesperson for the Israeli Government, as he laced up his new pair of Air Max running shoes.

Leader of the P.L.O. Yassir Arafat was also enthusiastic about Nike's involvement in the West Bank Peace Talks:

"Look at us here. Together, Jew and Palestinian at this special media event. Nike has already done wonders just by bringing the two sides together for this joint announcement."

"The quality of Nike's product is one thing in which we are in wholehearted agreement with the Israeli people," said Arafat, while also deadpanning "these bounce soles have really put a spring in my step!" to gales of sycophantic laughter from an assembly of Nike executives.

And it's not only representatives from the two warring sides who are supportive of Nike's benevolent contributions to international diplomacy:

"Look at this hat I got-form fitted perfectly to my hat size (7 1/8) and everything, just like the one (golfer) David Duval wears," said United Nations peace envoy Vincente Garcia.

"Cool."

The peace talks are scheduled to begin this weekend, with the unveiling of a commemorative "Peace in the Middle East" product line of athletic shoes and golf attire by Knight and Tiger Woods.

However, despite all of the goodwill emanating from the Nike sponsorship announcement, various factions of the P.L.O. are refusing to take part in the peace talks, citing their exclusive sponsorship deals with Reebok.

Posted on August 24th, 2001


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