Nike drew negative publicity when its sneaker fell apart during a college basketball game.
The shoe: the PG 2.5 PE.
The player: Zion Williamson, Duke University’s star basketball player.
Zion planted his foot to change direction during the game with North Carolina and injured his knee when the shoe came apart. Nike touted this as an isolated incident and at the time of this post was working to identify the root cause of the issue.
Video Spotlight: Nike’s Nightmare
This post is based on the Bloomberg article, Nike Basketball Shoe Blowout May Be a ‘Classic’ Liability Case, by Eben Novy-Williams and Steven Sellers, February 21, 2019, and the Bloomberg video, Nike’s Nightmare, by TicToc, February 21, 2019. Image source: © McGraw-Hill Education
1. Discuss the importance of legal considerations in Nike’s product design.
Guidance: Nike must specifically design its sneakers to provide support for athletes to perform their best in competitive sports. Any product malfunction or failure that causes injuries or damages will subject Nike to product liability litigation.
2. What are the potential costs related to Nike’s basketball shoe blowout incident?
Guidance: These include legal costs, settlement costs, warranty costs, product recalls, product returns, negative publicity, customer attrition, loss of sales, product failure investigation, and product redesign.