Liz Carmouche is the first openly gay UFC fighter, and if her campaign is successful, she may very well be the first openly gay spokesperson for Nike as well.
According to Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg.com, Nike is searching for a gay endorser to add to its already impressive list of athletes. There aren't a ton of options due to the taboos related to coming out as a professional athlete, but Carmouche would seem to be an ideal fit.
Carmouche tweeted at Nike to make her case, and she certainly has a very compelling one. Not only is the former No. 1 contender an open and proud gay woman, but she also fought in the very first women's UFC bout back in February as she lost to bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.
LIZ CARMOUCHE @iamgirlrilla
Dear #lizbos & #lizbros, I understand that @Nike is looking to sponsor a gay athlete. Maybe you can help that be me. #movemymomhere4/17/2013, 2:17:37 PM
If Nike is trying to widen the acceptance of gay athletes and broaden its scope as a company as well, then Carmouche is certainly a viable candidate. She is one of the most recognizable female fighters in the world, and her popularity would only grow with the support of Nike.
According to gay-marketing strategist Bob Witeck (via Soshnick), a Nike-sponsored gay athlete "would earn millions in endorsements" with Nike as well as other companies due to the buying power of the gay population in the United States. Not only would this be a great opportunity for Carmouche from a personal perspective, but it would benefit her financially as well.
Nike has yet to respond to Carmouche's request publicly, but she appears to be the first athlete to throw his or her hat into the ring. A successful company like Nike is sure to exercise due diligence throughout this process, but there is no questioning Carmouche's qualifications.
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