In only a handful of days since Nike debuted their new “Just Do It” ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, the iconic sneaker brand’s favorability has nosedived. According to a new poll by a research firm, Nike’s favorability has been cut in half since the premiere of the Nike ad starring the lightning rod former football player turned activist.
The Morning Consult, a market research firm that has been providing analysis and business strategy for “hundreds of Fortune 500 companies,” released data on how the ad with the controversial sports figure has affected the Swoosh. The data found that the advertisement has lowered the favorability of Nike from 69% (nice) to 35% in a very, very short amount of time.
The Morning Consult interviewed 1,694 adults on their feelings toward Nike before news of the ad was released, from August 26, 2018 to September 3, 2018. Then they interviewed 5,481 adults after the news that Kaepernick would be the spokesperson for 30th anniversary of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign, from September 4-5, 2018.
The favorability of Nike declined in every age group, as well as Democrats, Republicans, Blacks, and Whites. Among Democrats, Nike fell from 74% to 65% and dropped to 28% from 51%. Republican support completely fell off the table. African Americans, that rating dipped to 74% from 82%. Interests from Whites fell by 40 points. Nike favorability among millennials dropped to 52% from 64%. Gen-Xer’s interest plummeted by nearly half.
Even Nike’s loyal group of existing customers favorable attitude dropped from 91% to 76%.
According to the data, only 2% of Americans said they heard something negative about Nike, but after the ad campaign that skyrocketed to 33%. The percentage of customers who said they were considering purchasing Nike products was down 10 points to 39%.
You can read all of the data from the survey over at Morning Consult.
President Donald J. Trump, who has been a huge critic of the flag protests, weighed in on Nike’s decision to make Kaepernick the face of their ad campaign.
Roughly three people burned their Nike apparel on social media for attention following the news of Kaepernick as the spokesperson.
The ad’s slogan is “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” The “sacrifice everything” portion refers to Kaepernick losing his starting QB gig after his 49ers went 1-10. Kaepernick believes he did not get another job in the NFL because of backlash directed towards his kneeling during NFL games.
However, some people have been rubbed the wrong way because his “sacrifice” has led to a multi-million-dollar contract with the world’s biggest athletic brand. “If you said that he was going to get seven figures, I wouldn’t be surprised,” said Joe Linta, the president of JL Sports, an agency that represents NFL athletes.
Kaepernick has been extremely vocal against racial injustice on the field and off. Kaepernick has also done a ton of charity work, including donating $1 million to help communities in need and giving proceeds of his jersey sales to charity back in 2016. He also provided suits to parolees last year.
However, Kaepernick has also been extremely divisive in the past. For at least three weeks in August of 2016, Kaepernick wore socks that depicted police officers as pigs.
Kaepernick also wore a shirt with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro on it. The same Fidel Castro who held an authoritarian rule over Cuba, that denied citizens basic human rights, political freedoms, labor unions or a free press. Castro’s repressive regime murdered and incarcerated tens of thousands of his own people, including anyone who dare challenge him politically. Castro’s cruel dictatorship also persecuted people based on the religious beliefs and their sexuality.
Despite Kaepernick being out of the league since the 2016 season, the kneeling protest during the national anthem continues to plague the NFL. Ratings for the NFL fell 8% in 2016 and nearly 10% in 2017. Sales of NFL-licensed products dropped at least 20% in 2017, to the lowest mark since the Great Recession in 2008. Expect the controversy to continue into this season.