Nike is a pioneer in endorsements, going as far as developing brands within its brand. The payoff has been huge, but the risk is high when hundreds of millions of dollars are invested in the reputation of fallible individuals.
For 40 years, I have encouraged athletes to utilize their high profile to trigger imitative behavior. This can do wonderful things for the world, but when it is associated with negative behavior it can send the wrong message.
In a couple of weeks, women badminton players will have to wear skirts "to ensure the attractive presentation of badminton." Shorts, tights or tracksuit bottoms may still be worn, as long as they're underneath the skirt.
Minutes after the incident, a spokesperson for the biking champion maintained that Mr. Armstrong's surprising feat of strength did not prove he was taking performance-enhancing drugs: "The Sonata is a pretty small car."