Facing furor from the skateboarding and punk rock communities, Nike's skateboarding division issued a public apology for promoting a skateboarding tour with an image unmistakably similar to an album cover by a District band.

The promotional materials for Nike's "Major Threat" East Coast skateboarding tour, which ends Saturday at Dream nightclub in Northeast D.C., bore a strong resemblance to the cover of Minor Threat's 1981 self-titled album.

Dischord Records, the label for the band, which broke up in 1983, first complained that the image had been stolen without its permission, prompting outcry on the message boards of several Web sites devoted to skateboarding and, or, punk rock.

In a statement issued Monday, Nike Skateboarding said: "Because of the album's strong imagery and because our East Coast tour ends in Washington DC, we felt that it was a perfect fit. This was a poor judgment call and should not have been executed without consulting Minor Threat and Dischord Records."

The record label has not said whether it will take any action, but spokesman Alex Bourgeois, in a statement posted on Dischord's Web site, called the incident "another familiar example of mainstream corporations attempting to assimilate underground culture to turn a buck."

-- From News Services

and Staff Reports

Nike Major Threat Ad CampaignMinor Threat Album Cover