People all across the nation have started their fall season off with bonfires, but instead of wood being the fuel for their fire it’s Nike apparel. People have pledged to never wear Nike again and burn everything they own due to one ad featuring Colin Kaepernick. The nation had already taken to Twitter and Facebook before because of him. Kaepernick was a player for the 49ers. He refused to stand for the national anthem due to racial injustices in America and people took great offense. Many people tweeted things such as “people died for your freedom you should stand during the anthem” while others honored his right to peaceful protest.
It’s no secret that our country has been torn since the Presidential election, but now we beg the question of if companies should promote a political agenda. While Nike didn’t let out any additional statements saying they supported Kaepernick, their ad certainly speaks louder than any press release could. It said “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Kaepernick worked for years to achieve his dream of playing in the NFL, but gave it up to show that he felt stronger about the fair treatment of all races within our society than playing football.
While I can’t say if it was Nike’s place to release this ad, I can say that the stats say it is paying off. According to CNN, they gained 170,000 instagram followers. On Thursday September 13th, Nike’s stocks closed at $83.47 which was more than they had ever sold for before. LeBron James even joined the conversation via Twitter that night by flaunting that stat and saying “Well I mean I guess WE’RE on . #JokesOnYou #NikeLifer”
While we don’t know how this has impacted sales, we do know that there is some clear evidence that standing up for what you believe in is authentic and provokes a response from your audience.