Nike did what they did best this week, stirring up controversy and playing both sides in order to make a buck.
By being the inflammatory, “cutting edge” brand that they believe to be, Nike has made a name for themselves with some fairly controversial subjects; the latest being their brand new campaign featuring out of work footballer Colin Kaepernick whose polarizing views on the police and “racial injustice” have touched off a fierce debate in America.
In the immediate aftermath of their announcement regarding the anthem-kneeler’s new job, stocks for the company tanked. Now, just days later, the company is getting even worse news.
A poll from Morning Consult shows devastating results for Nike’s brand favorability, in the days after making Colin Kaepernick the face of their new ad campaign.
According to the poll via Axios, Nike’s numbers “dropped 34 points from a net +69 favorable impression (76% favorable, 7% unfavorable) among consumers to a net +35 favorable impression (60% favorable, 24% unfavorable).”
These numbers are nothing short of devastating for Nike, and with no other news worthy of note, there’s no explanation for the sudden decline other than the company’s commitment to Kaepernick.
This comes as an increasing number of Americans have grown weary of the megalithic corporation’s antics when it comes to this sort of thing.
Nike’s main currency is controversy, and they are in no way in danger of losing any money by riding the wave of Kaepernick-anger into the popular culture once again. The American people have become aware of this reality, and the cynicism that we have toward this stunt can be seen in the memes that have been spawned in the wake of the sneaker company’s decision.
My personal favorite comes to us as a mashup between It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and the Nike marketing reality, although I’m not sure Kaepernick qualifies for status as a “civil rights leader” based on his hatred of police: