Are Nike's problematic athletes holding the company back?

04/14/2013 | New York Times (tiered subscription model), The

Analysts say Nike is having a harder time creating commercial buzz because they are no longer tied in to athletes known primarily for their great performance. "What's at issue is whether the recent missteps with several athletes call into question their ability to vet the athletes and judge the market," says marketing expert Paul Swangard, citing Nike-sponsored athletes such as Oscar Pistorius and Lance Armstrong, whose off-the-field troubles are outweighing their former prowess.

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