Nike, CBS and the Olympics

February 17, 1998

Discerning watchers of the Olympics may have seen CBS reporters sportingthe Nike "swoosh" logo on their jackets. This evidence of the cozyrelationship between news networks and their corporate sponsors is thesubject of an in-house controversy at CBS.

In an internal memo sent to the anchors, correspondents, and reporters, CBSreporter Roberta Baskin accused the station’s news president Andrew Heywardof having "definitely crossed the line" by having Olympics correspondentswear winter parkas with both the CBS and Nike logos. She wrote, "It wasthe first time a network news organization had allowed its correspondentsto double as billboards."

Baskin has also charged Heyward with pulling a story — an update of her1996 report on poor working conditions at Nike — allegedly because thesneaker maker sponsors CBS’ Winter Olympics.


  • Jeff Balinger, Press for Change. Call (201)768 8120.
  • Medea Benjamin, director of Global Exchange in San Francisco. Call(800)497 1994.