Nike under fire for overlooking scalpers
By Park Si-soo
Nike has come under fire for overlooking scalpers’ sales of tickets for a race event for young women hosted by the world’s leading sports brand.
Major websites have been bombarded with messages denouncing the firm’s lack of efforts to rein in the illegal business activity.
The U.S. firm will host “Nike Women’s Race Seoul,” a 7-kilometer run only for women in their 20s on May 26 and began to have participants register through a website from April 16 on a first-come, first-served basis.
The company charges each participant 30,000 won ($27). The entrance fee is relative high compared with that of other events but some 7,000 tickets for the event sold out in the first few minutes of online registration.
Observers said such frantic interest was largely attributable to a souvenir package which Nike will give to all participants — they will be given a Nike-made jogging suit and those that run the whole course will be given another package of gifts.
In recent days, some websites have had postings complaining over scalpers’ ticket sales; nearly double the original price.
A witness said a website had nearly 180 postings late last month, selling a ticket at a price ranging between 60,000 and 80,000 won. One of the postings read, “I purchased a couple of tickets to join with my friends. But my friends refused to join, so I am selling my tickets at 80,000 won each.”
The witness said several deals had been clinched on the website. Others say the number of postings she saw could just be the tip of the iceberg.
Worse, there was no message or action made by Nike to discourage people from buying scalpers’ ticket. Those who take part in the event with a scalper’s ticket cannot receive insurance coverage since the coverage is set to be given exclusively to original purchasers.
Nike has yet to taken any action to bar the sales of scalper’s ticket.
“We have no plan yet,” said Jae Yeon-sook, a spokeswoman for Nike Korea. “One thing clear is that those participating with scalper’s ticket will not be given insurance coverage.”