What’s in a name? Well, plenty if your brand name is Nike and you misspell in Greek the name of the ancient Greek goddess of Victory to your Greek market.
A bit of research on the Greek alphabet would have saved the global giant a lot trouble when it launched its much anticipated variation of its Air Force 1 shoe in Greece this week.
The Air Force 1 Winged Goddess features a visual tribute to the ancient goddess on the elongated tongue of the shoe. That is all well and good, until you look at the back of the shoe where Nike have been nifty and presented their name in “Greek”.
Instead of reading as “NIKH” in Greek, it is presented as “PHKS”, or to sound the word in English; “Piks” – not Nike or Niki.
The result is a lot of annoyed Greeks and an online petition that is calling on Nike to remove the new shoe from the market.
Angie Xidias who launched the petition on change.org with the words: “CALL TO ACTION!
We are demanding Nike to retract and recall the Air Force 1 “Goddess of Victory” sneakers from the marketplace. Nike has misused the Greek alphabet on the back of the sneakers misrepresenting the spelling of the Greek Goddess NIKH (NIKE).
Currently the sneakers spell PIKS and not NIKE – this is cultural appropriation.
We are asking Nike to preserve and respect the Greek culture and history by accurately using the Greek alphabet when writing and referring to the Goddess NIKE.”
So far, 100 people have responded to the petition.
At the time of writing, there was no response to the matter from Nike.