Colin Kaepernick, EX-NFL player, who was banned for being the first to kneel during the National Anthem, has caused a political firestorm by signing recently with Nike. A stance that ignited political protesting amongst the league to protest police brutality and racial inequality. His stance in 2016 caused a political upheaval that prevailed a strong political divide that divided a nation. Nike’s recent endorsement of Kaepernick has reignited this political firestorm that has recently been swept under the carpet. The burning of Nike apparel were the repercussions, but Nike is clearly winning the war, as Nike stock has gone up 31 percent.
In business, we are taught that brand recognition needs to stand behind a social ideology and Nike has taken this new endorsement without abandonment. Standing behind Kaepernick’s’ ideology of racial discrimination and bringing the mistreatment of African Americans back in the forefront. Making Nike a fashionable statement whose products do not endorse African American discrimination.
The most recent news is a mayor from a small town banning the wearing of Nike apparel. But this is hog wash. As Nike clearly made a promotional strategic move and has enough clout to make a statement about racial inequality. The whole upheaval was about whether a company has the right to cross political party lines and take advantage of one of the most controversial stances since the civil rights. Nike took this headstrong by playing environmental awareness into their hands. There is no such thing as bad publicity. Nike revamped their lagging sales into new heights. Brilliantly sponsoring an athlete who is being compared to Muhammad Ali protesting the draft in the Civil Rights era.
The truth is that nobody gives a damn. And the more mockery that is made of the situation the more Nike profits. It was a great strategic move. And as a former business major I stand by behind Nike 100 percent. They applied the Simon Sinek business strategy that explains the golden model of marketing.