Nike has emerged unscathed almost a year to the day since it made Colin Kaepernick one of the faces of its “Just Do It” campaign. The initial move was seen to implicate Nike’s ideological alignment with Kaepernick‘s protest of police treatment of African-Americans and its implicit support of NFL players symbolic kneeling during the national anthem.
Bloomberg reports that a year on, though the calls for Nike boycotts and angry hashtags have been forgotten, “neither the brand nor the company has suffered any ill effects.” This is significant as it demonstrates that major brands can take a meaningful stand on a politically sensitive issue.
A Stifel report from August that took into account feedback from 100 sneaker retailers found that “Nike was the most popular style in 81% of those store checks, up from 67% during the back-to-school rush last year.” Additionally, a UBS survey found that “shoppers’ perceptions of Nike have largely improved or remained unchanged” since the Kaepernick controversy.
Finally, Bloomberg reports that Nike shares are up nearly 8% since the last trading day before the Kaepernick ad was revealed.
Following a settlement with the NFL, Colin Kaepernick remains out of work and excluded from the NFL for kneeling.