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
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
"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.
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