Derogotary name for the Nike check-mark swoosh logo.

Rather than just the sweatshop labor type of insults usually hurled at Nike, it seems like "swooshtika" refers also to the ubiquitousness of the logo, the unavoidability of the brand. You cannot escape from it. It is on buses, billboards, on walking advertisements, as car stickers. Any major sports event on TV will probably have some athlete wearing clothes with the logo. Sometimes you can almost forget that Nike's real business is supposed to be overpriced shoes; the Nike brand almost seems to be turning into an American version of Hello Kitty WRT branding. Combine this with the whole sweatshop thing, and you have inspiration for this nickname.

Net people have used this name to inspire doctored images like:

  • Four nike logos radially aligned, so it looks like a swastika
  • An image of Hitler with a swoosh mustache
  • Nike logo with the text "Nazi"
I'm surprised that nobody had noded this yet.
From the New Words in English Dictionary:

SWOOSHTIKA, n. Derogatory reference to the distinctive logo of the Nike Corporation. Alludes to the powerful hegemony of Nike in the world of sportswear and marketing, the blind logo-worship of unthinking masses of people, and Nike's treatment of its third world workers like slave labor; implicit comparison with Nazi party and the its swastika. blend of swoosh + -tika, from 'swastika'

The word swooshtika was first coined by radio personality and activist Jim Hightower on October 18, 1997 during Anti-Nike Day protests which occurred in 13 countries and 25 states.

Nike is the perfect corporate villain for these times," Hightower said, "an example of the new global corporate hegemony.

The word has been slowly accepted into the vernacular and an Internet search results in dozens of web sites using it. Also, the now infamous Nike symbol has appeared on T-shirts both upside-down, above the number 666 and stamped with the international “banned” symbol (circle with an angled line through the middle).

The renaming indicates a change in consumer habits, as buyers demand greater accountability and transparency from multinational corporations.

Sources: New Words in English Dictionary
Metro Active News article by Josh Feit

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