After suffering its “biggest intraday slide in five months” the day after unveiling its Colin Kaepernick-starring 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign, Nike’s stock value has climbed to new heights.
“Ten days after Nike’s new Colin Kaepernick ad provoked calls for boycotts, shares hit an all-time high, closing at $83.47 Thursday,” Bloomberg reports. Though the outlet underscores that it will be “months, if not longer, until anyone can fully measure the business impact of Nike Inc.’s controversial partnership with quarterback-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick,” the early data looks promising compared to last year:
Edison scanned receipts from more than 200 online retailers (including Nike.com) and found that that Tuesday after Labor Day, for example, the first full day after Kaepernick’s ad went viral, Nike purchases were 22 percent higher than the same day in 2017. On Wednesday they were 42 percent higher, and Thursday they were 23 percent higher. They remained above 2017 levels through the end of the week.
On September 3, Kaepernick, who started the anthem protest movement because he is “not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” revealed that he was quite literally the face of Nike’s big anniversary campaign:
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
Response to Nike’s endorsement of the polarizing figure, which reportedly includes a “star deal” complete with his own clothing line, has been strong from both ends of the ideological spectrum. As The Daily Wire highlighted, the immediate impact on Nike’s shares looked grim indeed:
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.”
The anthem protests have been consistently unpopular since their inception in 2016, though a recent poll found approval reaching a new high: 47%, equal to disapproval of the movement. Immediately after the new Kaepernick campaign launched, a Morning Consult study suggested Nike’s decision to make him the face of the brand was a bad move:
Nike’s Favorability Drops by Double Digits: Before the announcement, Nike had a net +69 favorable impression among consumers, it has now declined 34 points to +35 favorable.
No Boost Among Key Demos: Among younger generations, Nike users, African Americans, and other key demographics, Nike’s favorability declined rather than improved.
Purchasing Consideration Also Down: Before the announcement, 49 percent of Americans said they were absolutely certain or very likely to buy Nike products. That figure is down to 39 percent now.
The Effect on the NFL Seems Small, For Now: Forty percent of consumers said Nike’s campaign does not make them more or less likely to watch/attend NFL games — 21 percent said more likely and 26 percent said less likely (14 percent didn’t know).
The anthem protests got going during the 2016 preseason, when, after reporters noticed that he was refusing to stand for the anthem, Kaepernick told NFL Media: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. 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.” The then-49ers back-up QB elaborated on his accusations a few days later. “There is police brutality — people of color have been targeted by police,” he said.
Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers following a dismal 2-14 2016 season, in which he started for 11 of the games after Blaine Gabbert went down. Despite pressure by activists and media personalities to pressure NFL teams to pick him up, Kaepernick found himself unemployed. He has since filed a lawsuit against the league for alleged “collusion” to keep him out of the league over his brand-damaging protest movement.