It has now been over a week since Nike made Colin Kaepernick the face of their 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. The most controversial image in the campaign is a close-up of Kaepernick with the words, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Nike received mixed reactions after making Kaepernick the face for this campaign. One side argues that Kaepernick’s protest of kneeling for racial injustice and police brutality is actually disrespectful to the flag, current soldiers and veterans. The other side gives Nike credit for embracing this protest and debate, instead of shying away from it like many other companies have done.
At first, many Nike customers were disgruntled that a man who knelt for the national anthem was the face of a global advertising campaign. Some even took to burning their Nike gear that they had purchased in the past. This does not make sense, since these people had already given money to Nike in exchange for their products. As long as people are buying their products, Nike probably could care less what they use them for.
After the backlash from the ad that officially came out Sept. 4, but did not air on television until Sept. 6, Nike experienced a dip in stock of about 3 percent. Nike’s stock fell below $80 per share after President Trump’s comments. President Trump took to Twitter to tweet, “What was Nike thinking?” and Nike was “absolutely getting killed with anger and boycotts.” Trump also said on Fox & Friends,”I don’t like what Nike did. I don’t think it’s appropriate,” Trump said. “I honor the flag. I honor our national anthem.”
As much President Trump might not like one of the biggest apparel companies in the world backing a man who stands up for racial injustice and police brutality against minorities, Nike is loving the money that this campaign has brought in.
Last weekend, after the ad had officially aired, Nike saw a 31 percent increase in online sales. This might be expected, considering Nike rolls out a campaign every year on the opening weekend of the NFL. During the same weekend last year Nike saw a 17 percent increase in online sales, just a little over half of the increase the company saw this year.
Nike also saw a decrease in stock prices, as mentioned earlier. That took a huge turn this past Thursday. Nike closed their stock at an all-time high on Thursday at $83.47 per share.
As long as Nike can continue to make money, I’m sure they can live with President Trump being upset.