Nike launches political action committee to push for equal marriage

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Nike has launched its own political action committee (PAC) in order to push for equal marriage in Oregon.

The sportswear giant, based in Beaverton, created Nike Equality PAC, in order to push for equal marriage across the US.

It donated $100,000 (£61,000) of its own money, and £180,000 ( £109,000), from its executives.

“We chose to set up the Nike Equality PAC so that Nike, and its employees if they choose, have a specific avenue to support campaign efforts that are directly related to winning marriage equality in Oregon,” the company said in a press release.

“This is kind of the rise of the corporation trying to play a much bigger role and much more overt role in politics,” said Jim Moore, a politics professor at Pacific University. “That kind of money seriously suggests that you are going to be running a campaign.”

Some have noted that Oregon United for Marriage, has raised $213,000 (£130,000), and other equal marriage groups in the state have much less.

Moore said the decision was interesting, as it allowed Nike more control over how the money was spent, than if it had donated the cash to an already existing group.

“To me it was Nike acting like the state of Oregon was the University of Oregon,” Moore said. “When (Nike owner) Phil Knight gives money to the University of Oregon, he can tell them what to do with it.”

The world’s largest sporting apparel company Nike,  earlier this month pledged to donate all proceeds from a special line of gear towards LGBT equality in sports, and has now donated $200,000 to an LGBT sporting charity.