Earlier this week I shot a Nike print ad up in Los Angeles. They needed a few sprinters and I could always use some extra cash. But before I said yes, I almost said no. For starters, it’s Nike. I’m not a huge fan of Nike because they aren’t a huge fan of mine. And while I suppose it’s not entirely personal because Nike is this huge global company that sponsors some of the biggest athletes in the entire universe and does not need to bat a stray eyelash over little ol’ me, I still am slightly bitter that the biggest sponsor of Track and Field athletes has decided on more than one occasion that I’m not worthy of the swoosh. And that’s fine and all if I sucked more than any of the other athletes that they currently have—but I don’t. So yea, if you could all personally write letters to the Nike people telling them what a great addition I would be to their brand, I would totally appreciate it.
My other hang-up occurred when I found out that the series of ads they were doing were for certain featured athletes that they are currently sponsoring. I had known they were just looking for some sprinters in the background but I didn’t realize that there would be A certain sprinter in the foreground. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. I just wasn’t keen on the idea of being a lane-filler for a competitor of mine. What does that look like if I’m an extra for someone in their own ad that I’m trying to beat when it’s time for the Trials?! I likened it to being the batboy for the team that just released you. Or not making the band but being asked if you’d like to be a backup singer. Something like that.
So I called the casting director and told her I needed to know who the featured athlete was in the print ad because it could be a conflict of interest. I don’t believe she really understood where I was coming from but it turned out the particular athlete specializes in a slightly longer sprint than what my specialty is. So…no harm, no foul. Besides, this particular ad is only being shown in Asia, so aside from the fact that I just told all of you, nobody will even know about it. At the end of the day it’s money in my pocket and the most amazing homemade carrot cake I’ve ever tasted. I don’t know why it’s so easy for me to always revert back to something food related, but I’m telling you this cake was that good. And guess what? In some unconnected, irrelevant way, Nike is still paying me whether they want to or not. Ha!