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Nike Culture

Nike Culture
The Sign of the Swoosh

208 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Is advertising changing the way we think about society and ourselves? Does the sign-world of advertising inevitably fuse fantasy with commodities? These are central questions in the sociology of advertising. Most studies deal with them by presenting broad sweeping surveys of theory and ad culture. This is one of the first studies to take an in-depth look at how an advertising image works. It exposes the psychology, sociology, culture and semiotics of the Nike swoosh logo. Nike Culture argues that contemporary society is, above all, a sign economy. The more that signifiers resonate through the intended audiences, the more economically successful the corporation will be. Blending themes of empowerment, transcendence and irreverence, the advertising campaign launches by Nike promoted the company to the top of the sports shoe and apparel industry. Its swoosh logo is now globally pervasive and Nike has become synonymous with sports culture. Nike Culture describes and deconstructs the themes and structures of Nike advertising, outlines the contradictions between image and practice, and explores the logic of the sign economy. In addition, by focusing in issues revolving around race, class and gender, the desire for both community and recognition, and the construction of sport as a spiritual enterprise, the book offers insights into the cultural contradictions embedded in sports culture. Engrossing and illuminating, Nike Culture provides a wealth of detail harnessed to an authoritative analysis. This book will be required reading on courses in sociology, media studies and cultural studies.
Suddenly the Swoosh Is Everywhere
Just Metacommunicate It
Nike and the Construction of a Celebrity Democracy
Reflexivity and Irreverence
Alienation, Hope and Transcendence
Determinism or Determination?

Transcending Difference? Representing Women in Nike's World
There Are Many Paths to Heaven
"Just Do It," but Not on "My Planet"

`This book is likely to be useful for a range of undergraduate courses, particularly related to sport or the media. It holds the promise of illustrating some key aspects of social and cultural theory in a familiar, even infamous, context: Nike' - Sport, Education and Society

"The book is likely to stimulate a wide range of classroom discussions about the impact, both positive and negative, of advertising in our society." 

Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly

"In ‘Nike Culture,’ part of the Sage ‘Core Cultural Icons’ series, Robert Goldman and Stephen Papson provide a fascinating deconstructive take on the television advertising strategies of that most successful of sportswear brands, Nike. The book ‘Nike Culture’ is packed fullof textual analysis. Paga after page is saturated with the pursuit of discursive regimes as the authors admirably struggle throughout complex praxes of Nike’s intertextuality. This book’s drive, its strength, comes from the identification of ‘the swoosh’ as the constant—that which can be printed down of Nike’s complex and transforming advertising approach." 

Sociological Research Online

Robert Goldman

Stephen Papson