06 Sep 2018
Nike vs Trump
Or why Nike probably don’t mind that people are burning their shoes…
If you’re not familiar with the back story by now, frankly, where have you been? But to recap, Colin Kaepernick formerly of the San Francisco 49ers, maybe unwittingly started a movement when he decided to #takeaknee during the pre game national anthem. He was protesting against the oppression of “black people and people of colour in America”
Now, by endorsing Kaepernick as part of the brands 30th Anniversary campaign, Nike have blurred the line between commercial and political. This campaign is typical of Nike, blending simple execution with a strong message ramped up to 1000 thanks to the Twitter storm that immediately followed it.
Nike knows that all customers are not created equal. The people that they endorse are athletes, skaters but also urban artists and civil rights icons. The angry white middle aged men that are burning their shoes are not the ones that are creating culture, Nike know their target demographic.
Nike are famously media savvy, so you can bet that they predicted all the potential outcomes from this, and their bet is that the numbers work. Apex marketing group have reported that the campaign has already generated more than $43million dollars in exposure, so so far it looks to be paying off.
But in going up against Trump and the NFL they are certainly taking a risk, the NFL franchise owners are known as the Billionaire Boys Club, and they do have the power to hurt Nike, they are truly sports 1% and the same people who very recently agreed Nike’s apparel contract with the league until 2028.
Is it a risk? Yes.
Will it be fascinating to follow? Yes.
Will I be burning my shoes? No. In fact this might be a good excuse to go and buy even more!