Tuesday, August 22, 2006

That Adidas tracksuit

Spare a thought for Adidas, the German-based multinational company that makes and sells sporting apparel.

You may recall that some days ago, Fidel Castro was photographed somewhere in Havana supposedly recovering from delicate surgery - and wearing an Adidas track or jogging suit. They were the first photographs of the 80-year-old Cuban dictator since the surprise announcement on 31 July that he had stepped aside "temporarily" due to illness, handing over power to his slightly younger brother, Raul. Not surprisingly, the photographs received enormous coverage by the media across the world.

Now there is an interesting take on the photographs (and what they mean for Adidas) in The International Herald Tribune, which you can read here.

The story - on how companies no longer control which "celebrities" wear their brands or how - quotes a spokesman for Adidas, Travis Gonzolez, talking about this unsolicited endorsement from El Comandante en Jefe: "It's not a positive, not a negative. We are a sports brand. We are making products for athletes, we are not making them for leaders."

Just in case, Mr Gonzolez is quick to point out that the company has previously presented a pair of athletic shoes to US President George W Bush.


Blogger Orlando said...

I read the article, and it sounded like Adidas may have been a little concerned about alienating some of their customers. Top Cuban officials move around in Mercedes Benz, and I do not recall Mercedes making any statements.

2:19 pm  
Blogger Luis M Garcia said...

I think you might be right. I think that's why they were quick to say the photographs were purely coincidental.

2:22 pm  
Blogger Henry "Conductor" Gomez said...

I don't understand why there wasn't this much said about the jacket when he wore it with a former US president 4 years ago?

5:33 am  

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