Nike Apologizes To Minor Threat For Co-Opting Band's Logo, Artwork

Sneaker hawkers admit 'Major Threat' ads were 'poor judgment call.'

Looks like the folks over at Nike realized they were messing with the wrong band.

On Tuesday (June 28), the Beaverton, Oregon-based company issued an apology to the members of iconic Washington, D.C., hardcore act Minor Threat and frontman Ian MacKaye's Dischord Records for "the creation of a tour poster inspired by Minor Threat's album cover" (see "Minor Threat's Ian MacKaye Outraged by Nike's Major Threat Skate Tour").

The poster, for Nike's Major Threat skateboarding demo tour (used to promote its newest line of SB shoes), misappropriated not only the Minor Threat logo, but the imagery from the band's 1981 self-titled EP and its 1988 Complete Discography.

MacKaye, also the frontman for Fugazi, was incensed that the company never sought his or his label's permission to reinterpret the classic hardcore record's cover, which depicts a bald man sitting on a stoop, head resting in his folded arms.

In Nike's formal apology, the company says the tour poster was not created by its advertising agency, but rather by "skateboarders, for skateboarders."

"All of the Nike employees responsible for the creation of the tour flyer are fans of both Minor Threat and Dischord Records and have nothing but respect for both," the statement reads. "This was a poor judgment call and should not have been executed without consulting Minor Threat and Dischord Records. We apologize for any problems this may have caused and want to make very clear that we have no relationship with the members of Minor Threat, Dischord Records and they have not endorsed our product. Every effort has been made to remove and dispose of all flyers — both print and digital."

Despite the apology, a Dischord Records spokesperson said once MacKaye returns from touring with his current band, the Evens, later this week, there will be a meeting involving all the members of Minor Threat — MacKaye, Lyle Preslar, Brian Baker, Steve Hansgen and Jeff Nelson — to explore the legal options available to them.

"They still have not figured out what they want to do," the spokesperson, Alec Bourgeois, said, adding that, while it was well and good that Nike "acknowledged, without a fight, that they did something they shouldn't have done, this has led to a lot of free advertising for Nike, [which is] trying to sell a new line of shoes. The band needs to, in an atmosphere not of anger, wade through all of the issues to determine what's next, if anything."