Nike’s Value Increases by $6 Billion After Launching Colin Kaepernick Ad

Nike’s decision to make Colin Kaepernick the face of its new campaign is proving to be a huge commercial success.

According to a report from CBS News, the value of the sporting apparel giant has soared by almost $6 billion, since it unveiled the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback as the main testimonial of its “Just Do It” 30th-anniversary campaign.

The decision was immediately criticized by a number of political commentators and Nike customers who accused Kaepernick of showing disrespect to the U.S. flag after he chose to kneel during the national anthem in 2016.

President Donald Trump also weighed in on the issue, boldly proclaiming Nike’s choice of Kaepernick as the leading face of its campaign would have a negative impact on its bottom line.

“Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts,” Trump tweeted on September 5.

“I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way? As far as the NFL is concerned, I just find it hard to watch, and always will, until they stand for the FLAG!”

However, it appears that Nike’s detractors have got their forecast wrong so far. On September 13, Nike shares closed at an all-time high of $83.47 and last week Reuters reported that the company had sold 61 percent more merchandise since releasing the ad.

Additionally, the number of products the company discounted in the 10-day period after the ad saw the light of day was considerably smaller than in the 10-day period before its release.

A report released earlier this month by YouGov found that Nike’s Purchase Consideration score—which gauges the percentage of U.S. consumers aged 18 and above who are open to purchasing goods from a specific brand—had dropped from 43 percent to 31 percent since Kaepernick was unveiled as its newest campaign face.

At the same time, Nike’s exposure doubled, with 46 percent of shoppers talking about the company, as opposed to 23 percent on September 3, a day before the campaign was unveiled.

“Nike cares most about the category influencers and tastemakers—nearly all of whom will embrace their decision,” Howe Burch, the former head of U.S. marketing for Reebok, was quoted as saying by Bloomberg earlier in September. “They know they will lose some customers short-term but not the kind of customers that really drive their business.”

2018-09-05T145905Z_3_LYNXNPEE8417X_RTROPTP_4_NIKE-KAEPERNICK Former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick appears as a face of Nike Inc. advertisement marking the 30th anniversary of its "Just Do It" slogan in this image released by Nike in Beaverton, Oregon, on September 4. Courtesy Nike/Handout via REUTERS

Tellingly, the “Just Do It” campaign has also been endorsed by high-profile figures such as LeBron James and from customers who vowed to buy more Nike apparel to support the company’s decision to choose Kaepernick as the face of the campaign.

James, who featured in the campaign alongside Serena Williams, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin, is firmly in the camp of those supporting the multinational and last week laughed at the expenses of those who predicted Nike would be hurt by boycotts.

"Well I mean I guess WE'RE on fire,” the four-time MVP tweeted after news emerged of Nike shares hitting a record high.

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