It was the worst PR flap of Jordan/Nike's life. But it happened in Taiwan and the world will never know.
Jason Pan, the best sportswriter at the Taiwan News and maybe in all of Taiwan's English media, had a good story yesterday, if it is still up:
Jordan's reported priority on partying upset fans
By Jason Pan
Negative publicity surrounding the "Michael Jordan Show - that never was," and news of the "His Airness" partying all night with minor celebrities has tarnished the former NBA star's image and has to some people calling for a boycott of the organizing company's merchandise products.
Throughout the weekend, speculation mounted of what Jordan did, and did not do, that included reports of his late night activities around town. Disappointed Taiwanese fans cried foul, and demanded Nike Taiwan to explain why Jordan gave fans a total of about 90 seconds in public appearances throughout his entire 23-hour stopover in this country.
Witness reports and contacts from the entertainment industry, appeared in the local press confirmed that Michael Jordan went out late Friday night with a group of male and female minor celebrities for drinks and cigar-puffing at a new trendy VIP pub, the "Mint Bar" at the Taipei 101 Building. Jordan and some of his Taipei female "acquaintances" reportedly returned to his hotel room [________] into Saturday morning.
The news of the world basketball icon's actions outraged sports fans in Taiwan, with a few calling for a boycott of the Jordan Brand and Nike products. Feeling cheated, they also wanted to take the case to the consumer rights protection agency to file a complaint.
"I have lost all my respect for Michael Jordan. He chose to spend most of his time partying and having a good time at a club, yet he was stingy with his time for the real fans. The whole thing has left us disillusioned with Jordan and his legacy. He is now into big business, just like Nike," a fan surnamed Yen was quoted as saying yesterday.
"The show on Saturday was like a hip-hop party for a few invited friends of Jordan. They had a good time on stage and off stage, while totally ignoring our feelings. We were forced to shell out thousands of dollars to buy Nike products, in order to get a chance to win a pass to see our idol. Then they made us look like fools with an embarrassing excuse of a show, for supposedly a chance to interact with Jordan. My friends and I are very much disappointed, and we will not buy his brand shoes in the future," Yen said.