L.A. Laker Kobe Bryant has apparently earned his good name back in the view of at least one marketer; Nike is using his photo in its advertising again, two years after he was accused of raping a Colorado woman. (It gets hard to remember how these big celeb cases turn out, so let’s review: in Bryant’s case, the criminal case was dismissed and a civil suit the woman filed was settled out of court.) The latest ads appear in Sports Illustrated, though we’ve chosen this old Nintendo ad for our visual for you nostalgia buffs. A Nike spokesperson said in this story in USA Today that Bryant ranks among the best players in the NBA, and his training and preparation are key elements in his game. (Oh, and BTW, he signed a $45-million deal with Nike shortly before his arrest.) Not surprisingly, one Colorado sexual assault group has criticized Nike about using Bryant again. Other advertisers, including McDonald’s and chocolate-spread Nutella, dropped Bryant after the charges were originally filed. Nutella? It would take someone more credible than a basketball player to sell me that frightful Euro-concoction.
—Posted by Celeste Ward
Credit: Feature Photo Service/Newscom