(image via joetorrillo.com)
(4 minute read and video)
By Rick Amato,
When Nike decided to politicize its’ marketing message with the Colin Kaepernick ad I was stunned, and disappointed. Stunned that the iconic private business in the athletic apparel industry would enter the fray of politics and disappointed that the sports world was once again being used for political messaging.
Time will tell if Nike’s marketing gamble will pay off and if history is any indication I wouldn’t bet against them. But to be sure Nike’s gamble is all business, not political. As has been astutely pointed out on multiple occasions elsewhere Nike is a staunch supporter of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal which President Trump opposes. In fact Nike was known to host then-President Obama at its corporate functions because of his support for the TPP. Trump on the other hand opposes the TPP because it benefits U.S. companies who move their manufacturing jobs overseas, Ie: Nike. Furthermore of the top 10 cities which Nike targets for product sales only two are U.S. cities. You guessed it. New York and L.A.
As strange as it may seem on this the 17th anniversary of 9-11, Nike has me thinking about its branding and messaging. If they- or any of their competitors for that matter- were truly interested in associating themselves with someone who has overcome obstacles, hurdles- someone who was truly buried under the heap of life as it were- and yet lived to talk about it and be an example for others- then they should consider someone better than Colin Kaepernick. That someone would be Joe Torrillo, as in retired FDNY Lt. Joe Torrillo.
You see ret FDNY Lt. Joe Torrillo was a first responder on September 11, 2001 which that alone makes him a brave, unselfish hero in the eyes of many, but his story if you have not heard it is quite remarkable. While trying to help those perishing in the attacks of 9-11, Joe himself was buried alive under Twin Tower number one. Fortunately he was rescued, but that is only half the story. After being rescued Joe Torrillo was then buried alive again, this time under Twin Tower number two. He lay there for hours hearing the cries, screams and pagers of his fellow first responders slowly dying off one at a time. Then miraculously Joe Torrillo was rescued a second time. Imagine the odds. Buried alive twice and rescued twice under both Twin Towers on 9-11.
As you might have guessed Torrillo is a different person today than he was prior to the life changing experience. He has a message about life and about America that all people should hear. Including Nike and their newest marketing pawn.
For more detailed insight and to hear the first hand account as told by Joe Torrillo, click below to watch my 1 on 1 TV interview with him previously conducted on the anniversary of 9-11.
Watch the video below: