Colin Kaepernick being announced as one of Nike’s new spokesman has created much controversy through their consumers, especially after Nike aired his ad on Sept. 6. He is the face of protest against racial injustice inflicted by police brutality, being the reason he has knelt during the national anthem. Nike, having such a diverse customer base, has now been divided into those who support Kaepernick’s actions and those who don’t quite align with his beliefs. However it seems to be that Nike had made a smart marketing decision because their sales jumped up 31% after introducing his campaign, according to MarketWatch.
Kaepernick’s joining Nike’s 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” tagline has been his welcoming into a more like-minded community. Nike’s taking the side of its well-known athletes may mean alienating President Donald Trump’s supporters and now interlacing their fashion with politics. Donald Trump continuing to insert himself into the debate may have unintentionally aided Nike’s sales by criticizing the brand on Twitter.
Trump tweeted: “What was Nike thinking?”
They were thinking that appealing to the youth was more strategic than attracting Trump supporters. Aligning beliefs with consumers and those they endorse is important to most companies, especially Nike, when delivering an impactful message.
As for those who aren’t rallying with Kaepernick, they seem to be on the losing team. It is not in their best interest to tarnish the Nike apparel they have bought, after all they have already contributed to Nike sales.
Kim Terrell, Environmental Science Engineering and Technology senior, said: “I believe it’s the people‘s right to do what they want with their product. But at the same time if you are doing for the intent of a boycott, it is a lot more efficient not to purchase said items.”
Those who oppose the new tagline felt so strongly, to take action into their own hands. They cut out the Nike logo from their clothing and future arsonists even went as far as to light their shoes on fire.
Jessica Ramos, Environmental Science Engineering and Technology sophomore, retorted: “If they are so affected by this, they should donate the clothing instead of burning it.”
Nike took a risk when appointing Colin Kaepernick as a voice for their brand, but overall the new support is worth the backlash. Nike’s goal was to reach the youth as well as ride-or-die members in delivering messages that coincide with other athlete spokespersons. Nike is taking a political stand and hopefully other individuals will too. #JustDoIt