Boing Boing

Minor Threat vs. Nike

Threat
Earlier this month, Nike released a promotional poster (right) for their a skateboarding demo tour that appropriated text and imagery from seminal Washington DC punk band Minor Threat's 1981 self-titled album's cover art (left). Minor Threat front-man Ian MacKaye, proprietor of the Dischord record label, was none-too-thrilled. (Link to background at Sublimited blog.) From the Dischord Web site:

"To longtime fans and supporters of Minor Threat and Dischord, this must seem like just another familiar example of mainstream corporations attempting to assimilate underground culture to turn a buck. However, it is more disheartening to us to think that Nike may be successful in using this imagery to fool kids, just beginning to become familiar with skate culture, underground music and D.I.Y. ideals, into thinking that the general ethos of this label, and Minor Threat in particular, can somehow be linked to Nike's mission." Link

Yesterday, Nike issued a formal apology. (Could they have posted the apology letter as a JPEG as an attempt to discourage reposting?) From the letter:

Minor Threat's music and iconographic album cover have been an inspiration to countless skateboarders since the album came out in 1984 (sic). And for the members of the Nike Skateboarding staff, this is no different. Because of the album's strong imagery and because our East Coast tour ends in Washington DC, we felt that it was a perfect fit. This was a poor judgement call and should not have been executed without consulting Minor Threat and Dischord Records. Link

Dischord Records spokesperson Alec Bourgeois told MTV.com that MacKaye and the other members of Minor Threat are still planning to meet to consider their legal options. Link (Thanks, Dave Gill and Meri Brin!)