Swimming Upstream And Winning the Big Buck Cullen Jones

Updated: August 20, 2006



Here’s a First for Nike

paying a BLACK Swimmer

a $2Million endorsement fee

No it’s not a Fantasy

There really is African American Swimmer Cullen Jones who has gone from obscurity the the Hottest Thing in competitive swimming in a matter of months. It has been suggested Nike is HOT on Jones because they see him as the Tiger Woods of Swimming. LET’S HOPE NOT. African Americans deserve better.

What has Tiger Woods’ success

done for African Americans in Golf


Cullen Jones has caught Nike’s attention because ready or not still TWO years away we are into 2008 Beijing Olympics Feeding Frenzy among sponsors and advertisers. Cullen Jones who has emerged recently as the FASTEST American swimmer brings visions of Cherry Plums in August to Nike and other sponsors who can be expected to pile on Mr. Jones the next two years.

What appeals to the Advertising Industry

is Both Cullen Jones’

Strength & Weakness

for African Americans

His Shiny Beautiful Black Skin in a Sport virtually without African Americans since American competitive swimming began a century ago makes Cullen a visual and emotional magnet, a unique story, someone who stands out from the crowd (of swimmers) and in doing so results in consumers of all Colors susceptible to marketing messages “attached” to him.

Fine except

here is the Other Point

The Swimming Industry and companies like Nike are very well served by ONE champion Black swimmer but NOT if it becomes a sport with MANY Black swimmers worst of all a sport DOMINATED by African American swimmers. The Big Market is selling to well heeled WHITE families not far fewer and far less affluent BLACK folk. NO way.

That is the REAL Tiger Woods Effect

ONE Tiger is GREAT


would be a


for Marketers

( yes football and basketball are Black dominated and a few track events but what else. Nothing else. If what is good for football and basketball was so GOOD then other sports would follow suit. But NONE do )

So the observer who compares Cullen Jones to Tiger Woods transferred to swimming is very correct in ways he does not have a Clue only because his eyes are Glazed Over by the Hype Machine.

So we are here to

PRAISE Cullen Jones

Free Style 50 meter CHAMPION

make no make about that

here in the Box

but we do it with

Eyes Wide Open

Just as in Golf African Americans will continue to be excluded except for rare and fortunate SuperStar talent because Blacks growing up have virtually NO access to golf courses. The exact same situation exists in swimming. To become a first rate swimmer you need access to specialized aquatic centers with pools in which swimmers train not run down outdoor summer time community pools in Black neighborhoods so packed you can barely stand let alone speed swim.

Let’s see IF Cullen Jones

gets the Message

Let’s see IF Cullen Jones

cares about the Message

any more than Tiger

or is Cullen in it

just like Tiger is

ONLY for the Loot

Cullen Jones

make us Proud

we’ll be



Go for Olympic Gold

not just the other Kind

Whenever you want to reach us with comments or better yet an idea for a topic for the Box ……. blackbox@blackathlete.net