Former Nike Designers' Scandal Deepens With New Revelations

New documents from Nike's lawsuit against its three former designers show new revelations.

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Complex Original

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It appears troubles for the three high-profile former Nike designers served by the Swoosh aren't going away anytime soon.

Allegations of impropriety, breaking of non-compete agreements, and behind-the-scenes workings are coming to light as findings from Marc Dolce, Denis Dekovic, and Mark Miner's Nike-issued computers are being revealed. In a story from The Oregonian, the computers were sent to CyTech Services Inc., a forensic support service specializing in data recovery, located in Manassas, Virginia, by Nike assistant general consul Holly Hearn back in October. What came back was a whopping 32 pages of recovered emails and text messages which shows possible evidence of improper conduct and communications.

Some of the details included in the report was an email involving Dolce advising Dekovic to purchase more Twitter followers to make himself more attractive to potential clients, Nike paying the designers half their annual salaries—$187,275 for Dolce, $181,290 for Dekovic, and $152,445 for Miner, during their non-compete period—and the most interesting of all, an email dated August 29 from Dekovic to Tauna Dean, adidas director of talent acquisition. In the email Dekovic lays out the parameters of the proposed Brooklyn design studio complete with a requested base salary of $500,000, $200,000 signing bonus, performance bonus, $60,000 for housing, and $500,000 annually for retention of services. Dekovic referred to these terms as the "5 big topics."

Another email obtained reveals a gloating Dekovic who expressed excitement regarding a meeting with adidas CEO Herbert Hainer. 

On September 22, Ornstein, along with several top Nike executives met with Dekovic who revealed he was no longer interested in negotiating a contract with Nike, but still expressed love for the brand and a desire to work with the business again in the future. His plans were to leave to start a design studio in Brooklyn for adidas. Later in the afternoon, the same group - less one member, met with Miner, who also communicated that he too would be leaving Nike for the adidas studio.

Orstein, in an unscheduled meeting late afternoon, sat down with Marc Dolce who also mentioned the adidas studio, but was torn considering how much Nike meant to him and the fact that his family loved Portland. On September 23, Dolce met with Nike Design vice president John Hoke and an offer was made to for Dolce to stay with Nike. As we all know, Dolce subsequently turned the offer down.

[via The Oregonian]


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