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Nike Scandal Threatens Its Image With Women at Tumultuous Time

  • Company sees women’s business as essential to sales rebound
  • Nike risks being seen as phony, crisis-management adviser says
Inside A Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. Location As Earnings Figures Are Released
Photographer: Sean Proctor/

It’s never a good time for companies to grapple with a scandal over sexist behavior. At Nike Inc., it’s especially awkward given its ambition to target female shoppers.

The world’s largest sports brand expects much of its future growth to come from selling more sneakers and gear to young women. And fresh concerns about a locker-room mentality could hurt Nike’s reputation with a demographic group that it desperately needs.