When it comes to their reputation, Nike does not mess around.
Nike ceased its relationship with 5 time Grand Slam champion, Maria Sharapova, after she announced on March 7 that she testing positive for meldonium, a heart medication that can boost athletic performance. The sportswear company has been involved with Sharapova since she was 11.
Maria Sharapova is far from the first spokesman to be dropped by Nike. Check out our list of other athletes who lost their endorsement deals for bad behaviour.
After it was proven that the champion cyclist’s victories were due, at least in part, to illegal doping, Nike had this to say:
“Due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade, it is with great sadness that we have terminated our contract with him. Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner.”
Though the company originally said it would continue to support Livestrong, the charity Armstrong founded, it would go on to drop that partnership as well.
The South African runner inspired millions when he competed in sprint events at the 2012 Summer Olympics on two prosthetic legs, and so a partnership with Nike was a natural fit. Unfortunately, that’s not the end of the story. On Valentine’s Day 2013 Oscar shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, after an argument.
Nike promptly dropped its endorsement deal with Pistorius, in an attempt in sprint away from the controversy.
Initially, the word was that the martial arts fighter lost his contract with Nike after a brawl with Daniel Cormier at a press event. Jones has since explained that he chose to end his contract with the company when he was told Nike would be distancing itself from mixed martial arts. “It was a mutual thing,” he said.
Jon went on to have further, more serious, issues with the law after a hit and run accident involving a pregnant lady. Jon was dropped from the UFC and stripped of his title.
The athletics company recently ended its relationship with Manny Pacquiao, following the boxer’s homophobic comments on Philippine television. In a statement, Nike said it found his statements “abhorrent”.