• Mohan Chathuranga

How Nike made 31% increase in Sales

How Nike created 31% increase in sales with a controversial ad campaign

Nike are causing a storm in America with their choice of Colin Kaepernick to front their latest campaign, celebrating 30 years of the “Just Do It” slogan. Kaepernick is the NFL footballer who decided to kneel during the national anthem in 2016 to protest racial injustice and the numerous examples of white policemen treating African-American citizens not just violently, but with utter disrespect. Since then, his career has suffered; he’s been dropped by his team and trash-talked by everyone from the president downwards. Trump said that the athlete's protest was “disrespectful” and that he found “it hard to watch unless they stand for the FLAG”. 

In the new Nike ad, Kaepernick stares at the camera, with his face overlaid with the slogan “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything”. Trump once called players who kneel “sons of bitches” and it has cost Kaepernick dearly – he is suing the NFL (which represents 32 teams), accusing them of conspiring not to give him a contract.

Kaepernick is a huge hero to thousands of young people – and even when he was dropped as a player, his jersey was one of the NFL’s best selling items. His protest is a real generation divider in the USA, where huge numbers of people under 35 – who make up the majority of Nike’s customers – reckon he’s a brave warrior. Older men (in particular) find his protest repugnant and unpatriotic, and are determined that sport should not be tainted by politics. Those against Kaepernick's protests haved posted videos showing Nike products being destroyed, while the hashtag #BoycottNike has also been trending on Twitter. People have posted NIKE products being destroyed on Twitter.

However, the campaign has been received positively by LA Lakers guard LeBron James and 23-time Grand Slam tennis champion Serena Williams. James shared the Nike ad on his Instagram account alongside his own caption that read: "Just. Do. It." alongside an emoji of a black fist. James' post has been liked almost 1.5 million times.Williams, meanwhile, posted her own tweet the day after Nike dropped its Kaepernick ad.

Serena Williams

"especially proud to be a part of the Nike family today"

Despite the backlash in the wake of Nike’s endorsement deal with Colin Kaepernick, the sportswear company has reported a 31% increase in sales. Nike sales grew 31% from Sunday through Tuesday over the Labor Day holiday this year compared with the previous year, according to Edison Trends.

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