Pacquiao dropped by Nike
February 17, 2016
Nike has severed ties with Manny Pacquiao after the Filipino fighter made derogatory remarks about same sex relationships. Despite an apology from Pacquiao, it was too little too late.
Pacquiao had been a Nike-sponsored fighter for over 8 years. He had a clothing line specifically for the fighter including a logo made by the apparel company.
Notably, Pacquiao’s opponent for his last fight on April 9th, Timothy Bradley, is sponsored by Nike.
In a statement issued by the company obtained by Darren Rovell, Nike stated, “We find Manny Pacquiao’s comments abhorrent. Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the right of the LGBT community. We no longer have a relationship with Manny Pacquiao.”
As stated by Rovell, Nike has nixed the contracts of sponsored athletes that have been in the storm of controversy for their actions including Lance Armstrong, Ray Rice, Oscar Pistorius and Adrian Peterson. It was initially thought that Jon Jones lost his Nike sponsorship due to a media day brawl with Daniel Cormier in 2014. However, he later clarified the issue about Nike.
It should be no surprise that Nike dropped Pacquiao for his comments. It was swift and decisive as it had to protect its own brand. While the Pacquiao Nike brand had not done much in terms of retail sales over the past couple years, he was still a big-name for the company. It will be interesting to see if Pacquiao’s other sponsors will feel the pressure to sever ties with him. In his last fight with Floyd Mayweather, it was reported that Paquiao would make $2.25 million off of sponsors on his trunks alone. The Bradley fight would not have commanded this much, but the backlash for his comments may mean less in sponsor pay for Pacquiao.