This whole Nike ad with Kaepernick doesn’t really do much for me either way. On the one hand, good for Nike for taking a stand, but on the other hand they’ve been accused of violating people’s human rights (specifically children, specifically brown children) for 20+ years now so it’s interesting that they are pushing an ad campaign of someone protesting civil and human rights. Now my feigned kudos to Nike can only go so far because this is about a lot more than support for Kaeperinick and his cause and I’ll get to that because it’s tied to the other side of this discussion. The other side of the discussion is, you guessed it, all about the MAGA faithfuls. They are besides themselves regarding this entire Nike campaign, and they are letting the world know all about their outrage. The greatly offended conservative base is disavowing Nike, burning shoes (they’ve already purchased), cutting up their socks (they’ve already purchased), and finding ways to mangle their already purchased Nike apparel (which I’m sure most of you recognize, doesn’t hurt Nike and since this is all about patriotism give it to a homeless vet, but again I digress).
"–@sclancy79 burning his shoes over Nike marketing of Colin Kaepernick
Guys I feel for you, I really do, you feel betrayed, you’re upset, you feel like you’re being attacked, and you are showing your displeasure by punting on Nike. Totally get it, and so does Nike. Nike is actually banking on this. For every action there is a reaction, and Nike is banking on this over reaction from the conservative right to be countered with support from a large group on the progressive left. Nike is also banking on millennial support of Kaepernick and his cause. The number of sympathetic millennials that love all things Nike, and the smaller percentage that also support Kaepernick outnumber those outraged over this marketing strategy. Also lets not forget that Nike is a global company, they sell shoes, jerseys, and jackets all over the world, Europe, China, Africa, everywhere. If we break this up by voting demographics, i.e. those that voted for Trump, and those that went other, you have less than 40 percent of those that voted that are currently upset. While it may “feel” like a big number, when you start to think of the number of eligible voters that didn’t vote that are fine with Nike and Kaepernick, the small percentage of those that voted for Trump but will still quietly buy Nike, and account for those that are boycotting Nike but never or rarely purchased Nike, we start to see that number become less and less significant. All that to say, its a drop in the bucket compared to the global market.
"–@johnrich the sound man for the country music band cuts the Nike swoosh off his own socks to protest Nike.
If you want to burn all your Nike gear and plaster it all over social media, feel free, but just understand that Nike did the math, they ran the numbers, and they are perfectly o.k. with your decision to switch to Adidas to “own the libs”. The hardest part for many in this group of outraged boycotters is accepting the fact that they likely statistically don’t matter in this instance. We’ve all been told to vote with our dollar to show businesses we don’t approve of their tactics, and in this instance, Nike is too big and they don’t care about your feelings. In a few years when this blows over and most of us forget it about it, Nike may go back the other way to pump some new juice into their sales, maybe you’ll still be angry, maybe not, but it wouldn’t surprise me. This for Nike isn’t about social justice, as a corporation they don’t care any more about black people than they do about the Taiwanese kids in sweat shops making their shoes (allegedly). What they do care about is trends and sales, and they as an organization recognized that the trend was moving toward younger, more socially conscious customers and that’s their focus. The reality is because of the size of their global brand, and the size of the new young generation, they may never need to win the MAGA crowd back, and if they continue to sell shoes, they will be perfectly ok with that.