In a move considered controversial by many, Nike Japan recently purchased the naming rights to a central park in Tokyo within the Shibuya business district. Originally named Miyashita Park, the run-down space was largely reserved for a small population of 34 homeless people. However with the transfer of rights to Nike to create Nike Park, the homeless people will be required to find a new space. Among Nike’s plans are to create a skate park with cafe which will require an entrance fee. Although allowing companies to buy the rights to certain landmarks is not uncommon in Japan, the eviction of a homeless community has raised questions regarding the power of the dollar and resulted in the “Keep it Miyashita” campaign. In addition commentary from local skater Daniel Pulvermacher over at his blog YWS outlines the pros/cons of this move by Nike.
Source: YWS, The Observers, Global Voices