Nike’s gamble with Colin Kaepernick has paid off with surging sales

Last week, Nike announced that Colin Kaepernick is the face of their 30th anniversary Just Do It campaign. The tagline on Kaepernick’s ad is: “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.” Morons and racists decided to burn their Nike gear in protest of… Kaepernick, or perhaps in having conversations about police violence towards communities of color. Other people noted that Nike was making more of a strategic business decision rather than a profile in courage towards Kaepernick and football-player protests. Even if Nike had all of the right, woke intentions – which hahaha of course they didn’t – the effect is the same, and Nike sales went up.

Nike’s sales have gone up amid a backlash over the 30th-anniversary “Just Do It” campaign starring Colin Kaepernick, the football player who started the #TakeAKnee movement in 2016.

The brand’s sales increased 31 percent from Sunday through Tuesday over Labor Day, according to Edison Trends. During Labor Day 2017, sales increased 17 percent, the company reported.

[From People]

What’s weird is that before this issue with Nike, I’d only really noticed how many men at my gym wear Under Armour gear. Now I can’t stop seeing how many men and women wear Nike. Do I think that wearing Nike is a political act at this point? No. Do I think that all Nike-wearers are doing it to support Kaepernick? No. But some of them are, and some people are making a point to buy and wear more Nike gear. And that’s good enough for me.

Do you need to cry today? Let’s watch that Nike ad again.

One more thing: just a reminder that stupid people are stupid.

Embed from Getty Images

Photos courtesy of Getty and Instagram.

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43 Responses to “Nike’s gamble with Colin Kaepernick has paid off with surging sales”

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  1. val says:

    Was there ever any doubt? Nike is not simply a shoe and apparel company. They are a tech company as well, and did their research first!

  2. grabbyhands says:

    And Phil Knight is going to donate a big chunk of those profits to the GOP, just like he’s done in the past. It was a win/win for him either way.

    • Lady D says:

      That’s why Trump shut up about NIKE and their ad last week. He mentioned the amount of rent they pay and then said, “they give me a lot of money” There were local articles about him still doing business while president, but I bet it was P. Knight’s donations he was referring to.
      Nonetheless, I am glad it was successful for Colin’s sake.

      • Jamie says:

        He was referring to the Nike store that was in one of his NYC buildings. Except that store is closed because he can’t get anything right.

    • Darla says:

      Really? Boy this is a real downer. I was so excited about my new nikes coming, and now I am hearing that womp womp womp music.

    • Cate says:

      I was going to say that also. This was 100% a calculated marketing move, nothing to do with values or principles or taking a risk. Knight has JUST made a million dollar donation to the GOP candidate for governor in Oregon. So please temper your purchasing enthusiasm.

    • Aang says:

      Yes Grabby. Nike as a Corp. is problematic in many ways. But this is a great ad, no matter the reason they made it. My kids wear Nike for sports and Addis as street wear. I think a lot of kids are the same, at least in my area.

    • Ms. Blake says:

      I live in Portland, OR and there was an article in The Oregonian over the weekend that Phil has already given over a million in campaign funds to the GOP candidate for governor (who has a very sketchy record when it comes to women’s reproductive rights, ugh).

      Nike is also under scrutiny for promoting a boy’s club type of workplace. They’ve reorganized the management team but we’ll see. Since the headquarters are in nearby Beaverton (and that campus is HUGE, btw), anytime Nike does something it’s in the papers and on the local news.

      All that being said, I support Keapernick and his stance and I am really tired of people accusing athletes who take a knee during the anthem of not supporting the troops. Taking a knee is a peaceful protest and am American right. Isn’t that part of what the troops fought for in the past? To keep America free?

  3. Darla says:

    Well, I am not too picky about my gym shoes. But I did get myself a pair of custom Nikes this weekend, online. I can’t wait till they get here! I didn’t realize you could design your own online. And yes, I did it as a political act.

    • Erinn says:

      I’ve become a Nike convert. I used to live in Adidas. But Nike is now carrying plus size stuff – I’m on the cusp of straight sizes and plus sizes because of my chest and butt – so I have more options there and can decide on the sized based on the specific fit easier.

      It’s about time for me to buy a new pair of sneakers, and I’m making sure they’re Nike. And I could use a new hoodie too, so another purchase.

      I looove the idea of the custom shoes too. But I’m terrible at narrowing down my decisions, so I’ll probably stick to black and white for now haha.

      • RunnerMomLawyer says:

        Thanks for the tip about the plus sizes. I have a butt too and it’s hard to find quality workout clothes.

    • Jamie says:

      I live in a red state and my gym plays Fox News all the time. I bought 2 shirts with large swooshes on them and 1 that says “Just Do It” in enormous letters. Can’t wait to make people mad at the gym.

  4. Digital Unicorn says:

    They keep bleating about the 2% share price drop but ‘forget’ that Adidas also suffered a 2% share price drop as well on the same day. Analysts all said it was expected.

  5. dlc says:

    I had to pick up socks this weekend, and I made a point to buy nike.

  6. Cay says:

    My 75-year old neighbor took a public bus 15 miles to Nike Town to buy herself 2 pairs of shoes just to support Nike and Kaepernick. She wanted to tell Nike employees in person how much the ad meant to her. Boss.

  7. Tania says:

    As mentioned before, I got my shoes on Friday and was all pumped for a run, only to find the shoes fit a bit too small. I brought them into the store, hoping to swap them out but they didn’t have the shoe in stock (they had Pegasus 34, not 35). So, back to waiting I go. The short time I wore them, they were comfortable as heck! Far better than the New Balance I’d been wearing for running.

    My husband absolutely loved his Nike runners too. In fact, I stole wearing his while just walking around the house because they were very well cushioned.

    As an aside, the store was super busy while I was there. Nike is not suffering any hardships from the ad.

  8. tealily says:

    I hate that Nike’s running shoes don’t fit me right because I’d love to send some money their way right now.

    Also hey Kenner, classy brah! You’ve made the national news and it’s not a good look for you.

  9. Jb says:

    thank you for embedding the whole add. I feel like I need to watch it. Every day. With my kids.

  10. ariel says:

    I live in the City of New Orleans, in Orleans Parish (we have Parishes instead of Counties in Louisiana, part of our French heritage).
    New Orleans is a liberal place in the middle of a vast racist wasteland.
    Jefferson Parish, in which Kenner sits, is a racist, white flight suburb of New Orleans.
    In the late 1980s when I was in high school in northern Virginia, there was national news that Louisiana had elected a klansman, (actually, a “grand dragon, or grand wizard or some kind of racist, ridiculous leader of the klan) to the state senate. I assumed this vote came from some rural, backwoods, deliverance kind of place.
    Nope. Jefferson Parish. In the 1980s Jefferson Parish (a hellaciously gerrymandered political district stretching from just west of New Orleans down to the Gulf of Mexico) elected David Duke to the state senate.
    Their racism continues to this day, spanning generations like a defective gene.
    It is gross. It is vile. It is Louisiana.
    I am embarrassed by Kenner’s racist figurehead, and those that support him.

  11. RunnerMomLawyer says:

    On the bright side, how great is it that THIS is the message and it knocked it out of the park. There may be all kinds of hidden agendas, but this ad is another step in the path to to positive, permanent change because so many people bought Nike BECAUSE of this message. At least that is what I am telling myself when it all gets to be too much.

  12. a reader says:

    I purposefully wore my Nike gear to the gym Friday. I’m a middle aged white lady and I’m gonna rock the heck out of all my Nike gear and I DARE anyone to say anything to me about it.

  13. Laura says:

    So disappointed in Colin. I totally understand why Nike used him to make money. I think it was obvious why they did what they did. However for someone like him who is into social justice I’m very surprised that he would front for a company that basically use a slave labour to make the shoes that we buy here. I just can’t buy products that I know someone was treated poorly to make them for me. It really bugs me that these big companies do stuff like this purposely to make it look like they are into activism when in reality they actively push people into poverty and horrible situations in other countries.

    • Jay says:

      Look, he’s aware of the slave labor. I’m sure he’s discussed it with the corporate execs he has relationships with there, and that he weighed it as part of his consideration. And if any of us have Apple/Samsung/LG phones, or uses things made with carbon fiber, or any number of other things, for example, we are all complicit in slave labor. I’m not diminishing the slave labor aspect. I’m saying that it’s interesting that slave labor came up as a way to discredit/diminish Cap right after, and so strongly, after this Nike ad. It’s part of the discussion, sure. But to use it as a way to try to diminish what has happened with this ad, what it means, is kind of gross.

    • GFYK says:

      Lol he’s not “into social justice”. The guy couldn’t even be bothered to vote.

    • Cate says:

      I completely agree. Ultimately, if we actually care about social justice for everyone, we all need to be buying a lot less STUFF. It’s absolutely crazy (and disgusting) how much of our economy is fueled by advertising–for stuff nobody needs and that will probably not make anyone’s life better. Check out “The Story of Stuff” or “A Cluttered Life: Middle Class Abundance” for some serious insight into just how much stuff we are buying that ultimately ends up as trash. It’s really sad and companies like Nike are totally complicit in that by constantly pushing the message that you need X or Y new product.

      And okay, to the point that everyone is complicit in slave labor, sure, but you can do things to try to reduce your participation and complicity. For those of us not in the public eye, that might mean resolving to buy fewer products (Nike or otherwise). Buy one pair of running shoes, use them until they actually wear out. Keep track of your socks so you aren’t always losing one or two in the laundry and needing to buy more. Don’t buy new clothes when your closet is already full. Etc.

      But for someone as big as Kaepernick, turning this deal down and saying “I’m going to forgo being funded by a big sports company with many questionable business practices” would have been a powerful statement. Despite having trouble getting signed anywhere now, Kaepernick has earned millions (and millions) of dollars from his football career. He does not need this Nike sponsorship to pay for his basic needs, or even a very comfortable lifestyle. He had earned enough money in his lifetime that he should 100% be able to turn down these kinds of deals. The fact that he chose not to says a lot about how informed or invested in social justice he really is.

  14. Jay says:

    Nike recently – like in the past week, I think – cut a $1M check to a conservative gubernatorial candidate in a hotly contested state race in Oregon. So, like, yeah, this ad is awesome and I love hte message and the middle finger it gives to racists, but let’s not pretend that (1) Nike is not taking money from liberals and giving it ot conservatives, or that (2) as seductive as the idea can be thanks to social media, (let’s not pretend that) corporations are personified, or are our friends. Corporations are not our friends. The individuals that run them might very well be progressive or liberal (or neoliberal) or into social justice. Their marketing campaigns might very well reflect those values. But corporations will always look out for the corporations’ interest.

    TLDR; Ad good, Nike donating $1M last week to a GOP gubernatorial candidate bad.

  15. Pita says:

    This ad made me tear up little bit, can’t full on cry at work. I am sad I recently bought 5 pairs of sneakers for my family, I wish I had bought bike, I guess i can buy a hoddie for myself at least.

    On a lighter note this whole ad situation reminds me of the show kimmy schmidth and how they changed the futbool teams nane to the washington gun takers and people was angry buying shirts to burn them.

  16. Neva_D says:

    All companies are in it for profit and good publicity, but if I have to pick between a company who openly supports POC and one who doesn’t, I’ll choose the one that does.

  17. OkieOpie says:

    Nike is one of the WORST sweat shop offenders. There is a great article on Buzzfeed. Well worth a read before you support them.

  18. kasxyz says:

    It just chokes me up everytime

  19. Meg says:

    I lived in Kenner for two years-as a white woman I was the minority in every situation so to have the city make a decision like this is really disappointing

  20. Veronica S. says:

    It’s a publicity move, but honestly…the guy did lose his original job over it. They could have stayed out of the controversy either way and still turned a profit. The pleasure I take from it is mainly that sales went up – which has the moderate satisfaction of impressing on their detractors that they’re not as powerful as they’d like to think.

  21. Ai says:

    I work on labor issues and human rights and happen to be based in Southeast Asia at the moment too. Just going to share that Nike hasn’t had a ‘slave labor or sweat shop’ incidents since the 1970′s. Most Nike own factories are audited more than 600 times a year and worker satisfaction is very high. Since the 2000′s, they have tried to the way the industry address the issues labor and are recognized for it by most labor/worker groups. Yes, it’s not perfect since the high risk factories are suppliers and not directly owned or managed by Nike. That said, they are actively working to identify issues by working with workers’ group and NGOs to improve the situation of workers.

  22. Nancypants says:

    I have not one sh*t to give about Nike.

    I used to wear their shoes because I was a runner and they had a pair that helped correct my tendency to roll my feet to the outside.

    I am a retired, active duty, US Air Force First Sergeant.

    I may not agree with your protest or how you protest but I will defend to the death your right to peaceful protest because that’s how I roll.