Nike enrages Irish with St Patrick’s Day ‘black and tan’ sports shoes howler

It’s a bit of a stretch to link a sports shoe to Guinness (hardly recommended for trim athletes although it was once promoted as having medicinal qualities), quite another to associate your new Dunk Low shoes with the ‘Black and Tans,’ the British irregular troops responsible for a number of vicious actions in the Irish troubles of the 1920s which led to the partition of British-occupied Ireland into the UK’s Northern Ireland and independent Eire.

But that’s what Nike did in an attempt to cash in on St Patrick’s Day last week.

‘Black and tan’ in this context is supposed to refer to the habit of mixing Guinness (a stout) with beer or other mixers. Sounds pretty barbarous to me, unless it’s champagne. The shoes have a Guinness-type bottle on the insoles. Guinness probably isn’t very chuffed either.

Isn’t anyone at Nike HQ Irish?

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.