Nike may be studied for years to come by business and marketing students across the world after they’ve committed what is shaping up to be the worst public relations disaster in modern history.
After naming former quarterback-turned-social justice-warrior, Colin Kaepernick, as the face of their company, the shareholders were in for a little shock and awe from ticked-off middle America…
On Monday, the new face of Nike’s 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign was unveiled, and NFL fans will have no problem recognizing him: Colin Kaepernick, who started the protest movement back in 2016, when he declared, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
In early trading Tuesday, Nike’s shares dropped by nearly 4 percent, “the biggest intraday slide in five months,” Bloomberg reports. “Nike shares slipped as much as 3.9 percent to $79 as of 9:31 a.m. Tuesday in New York — the biggest intraday slide in five months. They had climbed 31 percent this year through Friday’s close.”
Clearly, Nike Inc. was willing to risk the inevitable backlash, which has already begun among some sports fans — #BoycottNike and videos of fans burning Nike gear are already trending online — to promote Kaepernick’s controversial message.
“The fallout was no surprise but Nike may be betting that the upside of a Kaepernick endorsement is worth angering conservative Americans and supporters of President Donald Trump,” writes Bloomberg.
That might prove to be a bad bet, however. As Bleacher Report notes, a recent NBC News/WSJ poll found that a majority of voters (54%) thought Kaepernick’s protest movement was “inappropriate,” while just 43% said it was “appropriate.”
Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson reported Monday that despite Kaepernick having a deal with Nike since 2011, prompted by “interest from other shoe companies,” Nike worked out a new, far more extensive contract with Kaepernick. The deal is a “wide endorsement,” Robinson reported, a “star” deal, which will include royalties. The former QB will have “his own branded line,” including shoes, shirts, jerseys, and more.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
Kaepernick prompted the divisive and unpopular anthem protests during the 2016 preseason after reporters noticed that he refused to stand during the performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Do you stand for the National Anthem? Prove it and help spread the word by going here for your official “I Stand For The Anthem” t-shirt or hoodie!