Image Source :n.wrecks via Flickr
We have reported time & again , Nike is falling apart in social media buzz . Latest in the spate is renaming Miyashita Park , a public park in central Tokyo , into ‘Nike Park’ in order to build a skate park . The park currently houses 34 homeless people in tarpaulin shacks who collects recyclable rubbish and sells per piece. However with the transfer of rights to Nike to create Nike Park, the homeless people will be required to find a new space . Nike has already paid 150m yen in buying the naming rights of the public space and will plough another 450m yen into renovating the park . In total, they will spend around 600m yen (5.6 million dollars) renovating the park & plans to charge a fee in order to use the skating area .
Evacuating the homeless living in Miyashita Park has sparked a debate – a group of activist set up a campaign “Keep it Miyashita.” Japanese press & bloggers condemned Nike’s move as unacceptable , horribly ugly & unfair to the homeless .
Renaming a park could be a good PR story to trigger a buzz & brand names to stadiums and town halls is not new in Japan , for examples CC Lemon Hall , Nissan Stadium and Ajinomoto Stadium . So where did Nike’s story go wrong ?
What the global sneaker brand may have missed out (or ignored) that over last few years ?? jinken [blue line] or “human rights” activist are far more active in Japanese blogs than ??? “Nike” lovers [red line] . In the controversy over power of dollars vs human rights in Japan , the later emerges as the distinct leader .