Rough week for Nike. The athletic company thought appealing to social justice warriors would be a smart business move. Colin Kaepernick being as adored as he is. Don’t know about you, but when I’m shopping for racer-back tanks, I’m always thinking of who takes knees at anthems. Don’t pretend, as you’re flexing your biceps in the changing room, you’re thinking of anything other than supposed police brutality against people of color. Stop it. And nevermind the 49ers went 5-11 and 2-14 during Kap’s last two years on the team. Should’ve been foreshadowing for how rotten things would turn out for Nike (see UFC Vet Tim Kennedy: All My Military Friends are DONE with Nike and Nike Makes Colin Kaepernick its Spokesman. Nike Stocks PLUNGE!).
This new poll continues with the bad news.
- Favorability Drops by Double Digits: Before the announcement, the company 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).
Obviously, things can still turn around. This is just a snapshot of what people think this week. Give the people time to forget all about it when they’re shopping for shoes or leggings which make them feel swole and flexy.
But if I’m a big corporation, even with a campaign I knew would piss people off, I wouldn’t be thrilled if it pissed them off this much. We’d call this an “oh crap” moment. Maybe Nike thought throwing a little controversy into their marketing plans would create a Tess Holliday sized splash of free press. Which it did. Unfortunately, the “no such thing as bad publicity” idiom isn’t panning out. So far, at least.
Again, Nike is free to do whatever it likes. But so is the market. Capitalism is a beautiful thing, am I right?
Though this isn’t a swell time for Nike, it is great news for Donald Trump. His economy is so booming, even Colin Kaepernick was able to find a new job. #SilverLining