Nike's PR bozos strike again!

TAIPEI, Taiwan, May 28 AP - Nike has been forced toapologise to Taiwanese fans infuriated over a 90-secondappearance by NBA legend Michael Jordan at aheavily-promoted event.
The brevity of Jordan’s appearance - seen as a snub toTaiwan’s dignity - has become one of the week’s toplocal news stories, and has sparked comparisons with theamount of time the basketball superstar spent with fansduring recent visits to rival China and Hong Kong.
Nike tried to make amends by offering fans Jordanposters, first-generation Jordan shoes and first dibs totickets for upcoming events.
But the controversy continued to boil, forcing thecompany’s general manager for Taiwan, Lin Chin-lee, toissue a personal apology Friday.
I will take full responsibility,'' Lin said afterbowing deeply for five seconds during a televised newsconference. He said Nike's headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, wasconcerned about the controversy, but added the Taiwanoffice should get the full blame for last Saturday'sevent. Lin said this was the first time Nike in Taiwan haddealt with such a major sports star, and staff were tooinexperienced. Fans should have been given more timewith Jordan, he said. When we do our next event, we’ll do it muchbetter,’’ he said. We won't disappoint our fans, theaudience and the media.'' The event was held at an exhibition hall at the WorldTrade Centre in the capital, Taipei. Wearing a baggy blue warm-up suit and matching floppyhat, Jordan strolled onto the stage, waved to the crowdand high-fived the models as they jumped up and down. Hethen uttered a few sentences about how people shouldn'tgive up on their dreams. Angry consumer groups organised a boycott of Nikeproducts. One of the activists, former Taipei citycouncilor Chong Hsiao-ping, protested outside Nike'soffices in Taipei by cutting off the company's trademarkswoosh’’ symbols from shirts and shoes.
Nike shouldn't treat Taiwan just like it's America'sbasketball colony,'' Chong told reporters. Lin insisted that Jordan's brief appearance did notmean that Nike values mainland China and Hong Kong more. There have been a lot of basketball stars who didn’tgo to Hong Kong, Japan or China. They came to Taiwan,’‘he said.
``I must say that Taiwan is absolutely not asecond-class country,’’ he said.