Blogs & Comment

Winners & Losers: Nike slam dunks, Dick Costolo strikes out

140 characters in search of a CEO


Baller move

Nike Basketball

Starting in 2017, Nike will become the official apparel-maker for the NBA. The company secured the global rights to design and manufacture on-court jerseys and warm-up outfits in deal worth $1 billion. For the first time ever, the NBA is allowing Nike to place its own logo directly onto jerseys, because brands will never be satisfied until advertising, like a weed, covers every available surface on Earth. (Just kidding. We love advertising!) Nike rival Adidas previously held the rights with the NBA, but said in March it would not renew its 11-year agreement, preferring to focus on sponsoring individual players. Nike has already partnered with some of the league’s best-known players, including Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, and the apparel deal is expected to bring in $1.5 billion in retail sales, according to one consultant. Already, some in the marketing industry are speculating this deal will pave the way for other companies to put their logos on NBA uniforms so that they will soon be as hideous as NASCAR jumpsuits.

 Dick Costolo

Jack’ back for a second crack

Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is stepping down, and former CEO and founder Jack Dorsey has grown a beard. In addition, Dorsey will serve as interim CEO until Twitter’s search committee finds a new one. The company did its best to convince everyone that this transition was totally planned and had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Twitter’s share price is down 15% since going public in 2013. “There is no connection with our near-term results,” Dorsey said on a conference call on Thursday. Under Costolo, Twitter grew from a startup to a $23-billion company—and that’s nothing to sneeze at. But rumours about his job security have been circling for months. Twitter saw an unusual degree of turnover in its executive ranks, confounding investors. Last year, the Wall Street Journal reported Costolo was struggling to define a vision for the company, and that investors and analysts were growing impatient with the company’s sluggish performance. He’s also taken flack for not adequately dealing with the harassment that many users—predominantly women—have to deal with on Twitter, and for not playing nice with developers. User growth has been tapering off for years, although the service remains popular with self-important journalists, illiterate trolls, and #brands promoting #engaging #content. Come to think of it, no wonder nobody else wants to use Twitter.