Nike made their biggest announcement of the year when they rolled out their campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, showing that the former NFL star had signed on as their newest athlete. As to be expected, there was an extreme amount of varied reactions to the ad campaign, sparking everything from unrivaled support, to boycotts and intense debates.
One thing that can’t be debated at this time is the vastly positive effect Kaepernick has had on Nike’s stock. As of last Thursday, the company’s shares had hit a record-high of $83.90 per share via CNBC.com.
And while the long-term, concrete effect on Nike’s financials won’t really be known until quarterly figures come out, his ad campaign did more than help Nike’s bottom line, it also did tremendously well on social media. On Instagram, the post of the Kaepernick ad is as of the time of this post, the second-most popular IG post of all-time for Nike.
Whatever negative effect the boycotts had on Nike have not been immediately felt financially, although the protests have caused quite a social media stir, especially surrounding the cutting or burning of your Nike gear. But such foolishness－you’ve already given Nike your money, why destroy the product, which is only symbolic of your stance?－is only a small part of a much bigger story.
Nike is the official uniform provider of the NFL, and they inked a new deal recently that runs through 2028. The NFL, of course, is the football league that many believe Kaepernick was blackballed/banned from. The fact that Nike chose to still represent Kaepernick, even with his ongoing legal battle with the most popular football league in the world, shows just how much his influence has grown since the start of his 2016 protests of social injustice in America.
It is not yet seen how much content will come from the Kaepernick-Nike partnership, but as of now, Nike has already done a stellar job of delivering Kaepernick’s powerful message to an even larger audience. Only time will tell how well the decisions pays off, but for now Nike has helped show that Kaepernick can not and will not be silenced.
By Michael Walton II