Companies are serious about getting their exposure from the schools they sponsor. The latest example of that comes from Florida State and Nike. After FSU beat Miami on November 2nd, you can see in the picture about that Jimbo Fisher and his son are about to hug. There is one small problem though: little Ethan who suffers Fanconi anemia, a rare and serious genetic disease has on an Under Armour shirt.
Here is what happened next according to the Wall Street Journal:
Hey got a text from the USA Director of Sports Marketing last night telling me of how good things look w FSU and our players and sideline staff, exposure for the Brand was exceptional. Then 5 min later I rec a new message…Said ABC cameras were on Jimbo and his Son ad end of the game…His son was Wearing Under Armour FSU sweatshirt! Ouch. Can we please ask Jimbo to eliminate that from the son’s wardrobe in the future! Let me know if I can help w anything. Thx guys. MD”
Florida State’s senior associate athletics director Mark Bonasorte says he never told Fisher though:
“What am I going to do, go to coach and say, ‘Hey can you take that shirt off him?’” Bonasorte said. “I’m not going to call Jimbo Fisher and tell him what his son can wear.”
Bonasorte said he didn’t think the email should be taken too seriously. “I think Mark was just trying to say, ‘Hey, can the coach’s son wear something else?’” he said. “It was more just a joke to us. It wasn’t Nike being the big bad wolf telling a kid what to wear.”
You can understand Nike’s point here even if it was tongue in cheek. It just sounds harsh because they are referring to a kid wearing the sweatshirt. For what it’s worth though, the whole family was team Nike in the National Championship game when all eyes were on FSU winning the title.