Skip to comments.Tonight: The Toxic Nike-Kaepernick Era Begins Dragging Down Nike, NFL
Posted on 09/06/2018 7:31:55 AM PDT by Liberty7732
Few companies have tailored their image to a broad audience more carefully than Nike. From NBA greats Michael Jordan and LeBron James to soccer great Cristiano Ronaldo to tennis great Serena Williams, Nike has used mainstream sports superstars to instill the idea that if you Just Do It you can achieve anything.
All of which makes their choice of the marginalized, controversial and deeply divisive Colin Kaepernick as the face of their new Just Do It marketing blitz bewildering. He is not in sports at all, after a brief NFL career in which he was never a star. Most of his fame outside NFL football junkies accrued when he decided to kneel during the National Anthem before games to protest perceived police violence against blacks climbing on the shoulders of Black Lives Matter, another divisive group.
Kaepernicks career was already sliding downward after just one good year, and it dropped off the edge due to his polarizing activism, his lack of being a good talent fit for many teams, and his being distracted by the controversy he created. For the limited value he brought, the circus he also brought was not worth it.
This was a similar dynamic with Tim Tebow a Bible-believing, mainstream Christian who was also divisive and controversial with his overt, on-field and off-field Christianity and who was never going to be the face of a Nike campaign blitz. Not a bad decision, as he did not fit their successful Jordan-James-Ronaldo formula but in the same way Kaepernick does not fit it.
Whatever the drawbacks of Tebow, Kaepernick is ten-fold. Which makes it a perplexing business decision; less so a social justice statement.
The only real business explanation is one that Ben Shapiro puts forward: Nike is trolling Trump and conservatives to create a bunch of free publicity (yes, I get the irony) and increase sales, particularly to blacks who buy Nikes at a much higher percentage than whites but still smaller raw numbers. If that is the business reason, it is likely they have badly misjudged how broadly unpopular Kaepernick is in the mainstream culture, particularly with sports fans an obvious target market for Nike.
The day following the announcement and the vacuous and clearly inaccurate promo statement under the retired millionaires picture Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything the stock valuation of Nike plummeted by $4 billion. That is wildly outside the normal trade range and a direct market response to their decision. And in fact, while it gained back about half a billion of that, the price has now stayed steady at the lower level. Nike is a less valuable company today than it was Monday.
The non-business decision is that Nike, like the NFL, is run not just by social justice-sensitive progressives, but by social justice-sensitive progressives bubbled away in elite and out-of-touch circles, where they all agree over Russian Caviar with Gourmandises Blini that cops are racists, Trump voters are racists, NFL fans outside the luxury skybox are icky and social justice is an important cause célèbre just not, you know, in their guarded, gated neighborhoods.
The degree to which the progressive elites misunderstand middle America can hardly be overstated. Nike head honchos watched ESPN go full social justice lefty and their ratings tank. They watched CNN do the same and lose one-quarter of its audience in 12 months. They watched the NFL ratings plummet by standing weakly by and allowing a social justice takeover.
Yet they still invited this into their company voluntarily. This Nike example, following on last years flaming controversy that centered around Kaepernick, probably illustrates the disconnected nature as well as any.
Nikes decision just emptied a tank of gasoline on the formerly smoldering burn pile. The NFL had hoped it was moving beyond it. But thanks to Nikes decision with the toxic Kaepernick again, just head-shaking that Nike would do this even the spaghetti-spined, craven NFL had to issue a squishy non-statement statement.
The National Football League believes in dialogue, understanding and unity. We embrace the role and responsibility of everyone involved with this game to promote meaningful, positive change in our communities, NFL Executive Vice President of Milquetoast Blather Jocelyn Moore said in a statement.
But heres the problem. Nike is the NFLs single biggest business partner (outside perhaps the television networks.) Nike and the NFL have a 10-year contract in place, through 2028, in which the shoe company supplies game-day uniforms to all 32 franchises, a really popular promotion among fans. (Or was. Well see how this plays out week after week.) Nikes iconic swoosh is all over NFL games. And Nike uses the NFL logo prominently in its promotions including the Kaepernick fiasco.
That means the kneeling controversy burn pile is overnight back to licking flames into the sky just days before tonights kickoff of opening day. Maybe Nike will air their Kaepernick ad during NFL games. That should work great!
Perhaps feckless NFL management and in-your-face Nike kind of deserve each other. American deserves better.
I want to watch the beginning just to see the kneelers as there are a few on the Eagles. Just to get my ire up and turn it off. But I’ll bet they don’t show it and make no mention of it.
Its evidence that for much of corporate America, Kaepernick’s “protest” isn’t fringe at all - its the accepted message of our elites and crony-capitalists.
I have no interest in watching the Nike Football League.
Nike should listen to Michael Jordan: Republicans buy tennis shoes too.
Jason Whitlock called this one right. Whitlock said that Nike hates President Trump due to his America First policies. These policies are making it tougher for Nike to make their stuff with Asian slave labor and bring it here.
Had meant to short their stock as soon as they announced but got distracted... now I’m wondering if there is still some room left to make money....
“Maybe Nike will air their Kaepernick ad during NFL games. That should work great!”
He didn’t even need to state that;
Nike Will Air Colin Kaepernick Ad During NFL Opener
Kind of ironic, Nike in Greek means victory. This latest add campaign is anything but a victory, more like a surrender....
Nike is just doing it to their bottom line.
I wonder if they’ll be pimping a new model of Nike Kaepernick Kop Killer Sneakers.
Even that is a stretch. The reality is that Kaepernick had one good game -- one -- and this led to all the overheated hype.
I remember the game very well. The 49ers were playing the Green Bay Packers and Kaepernick scrambled all over the field. The Packers clearly were not prepared for this and Kaepernick torched the Packers on that day due to his effective scramble running.
The 49ers used the same tactic for a few games afterward to much more limit success, but all have come to understand, from Kaepernick to scrambling quarterbacks, is that any NFL quarterback who has to rely on his college-based scramble ability is almost always a sign that that quarterback is not really very talented and has gotten by during his pre-NFL days relying on his feet rather than his arm.
So outside of that one game, televised nationally, Kaepernick really never was much more than an average player at best. Once NFL teams got wise to the scrambling, Kaepernick got totally shut down and thus revealed his lack of appreciable talent.
The 3rd panel should be a switch over to Women’s Pro Beach Volleyball.
I sucesfully switched from football to following the UFC. More sportsmanship in one fight than most Sundays in the nfl.
Whitlock often doesn’t get it right, but this time he’s SPOT ON
The only real business explanation is one that Ben Shapiro puts forward: Nike is trolling Trump and conservatives to create a bunch of free publicity (yes, I get the irony) and increase sales, particularly to blacks who buy Nikes at a much higher percentage than whites but still smaller raw numbers.
They also steal them in much higher percentages
What “career”...he was 32-32. Overall, not good.
There are plenty of QB’s who performed better and got released too.
The NFL can just get into the row boat with Fredo Corleone because it’s dead to me.
I wonder if theyll be pimping a new model of Nike Kaepernick Kop Killer Sneakers
No, they will being out the social injustice sneakers first made by 12 year old North Korean girls making $0.10 an hour and starving.
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