The early returns on athletic shoe colossus Nike’s bold decision to feature a cop-hating militant with contempt for America as the frontman for their “Just Do It”30th-anniversary campaign is already looking like a mistake.
Despite the global corporation’s partnership with the NFL, Nike decided to humiliate the league along with Commissioner Roger Goodell only days before the 2018 season opener by proudly announcing that none other than Colin Kaepernick would be featured in a costly ad blitz.
The league seemed to have mistakenly believed that it could move beyond last season’s explosion of racial and cultural controversy courtesy of the national anthem protests and put it all behind them, naively hoping that you could deal with extremists.
The NFL was mistaken and the first Kaepernick ad will be crammed down the throats of viewers all season long.
This despite the announcement sending Nike stock into a nosedive, fans burning their costly athletic apparel and stunned fans who thought it may have been over facing another nightmarish season of extreme-left politics mixed in with their football.
But according to a new poll, Nike could be looking at troubled times if the negative numbers aren’t the result of a temporary shock but rather the beginning of a trend.
— Chris Donaldson (@MagaNewsReport) September 6, 2018
A poll from Morning Consult shows devastating results for Nike’s brand favorability, in the days after making Colin Kaepernick the face of their new ad campaign.
According to the poll via Axios, Nike’s numbers “dropped 34 points from a net +69 favorable impression (76% favorable, 7% unfavorable) among consumers to a net +35 favorable impression (60% favorable, 24% unfavorable).”
These numbers are nothing short of devastating for Nike, and with no other news worthy of note, there’s no explanation for the sudden decline other than the company’s commitment to Kaepernick.
Another key finding of the poll was that Nike’s favorability not only didn’t improve among African Americans, it actually declined. This finding is particularly devastating considering it was widely reported that Nike decided to embrace Kaepernick, in part, to increase their already considerable appeal among blacks.
— Morning Consult (@MorningConsult) September 6, 2018
Some key points according to Morning Consult, “Nike’s Favorability Drops Double Digits Following New ‘Just Do It’ Campaign with Colin Kaepernick”:
Nike’s Favorability Drops by Double Digits: Before the announcement, Nike had a net +69 favorable impression among consumers, it has now declined 34 points to +35 favorable.
No Boost Among Key Demos: Among younger generations, Nike users, African Americans, and other key demographics, Nike’s favorability declined rather than improved.
Purchasing Consideration Also Down: Before the announcement, 49 percent of Americans said they were absolutely certain or very likely to buy Nike products. That figure is down to 39 percent now.
The Effect on the NFL Seems Small, For Now: Forty percent of consumers said Nike’s campaign does not make them more or less likely to watch/attend NFL games — 21 percent said more likely and 26 percent said less likely (14 percent didn’t know).
Nike’s Reputation Takes A Hit Overall and Across Key Demographics
Before Kaepernick was revealed as the face of Nike’s campaign, only two percent of Americans reported hearing something negative about Nike. After the launch, that jumped to 33 percent. As the negative buzz set in, consumer sentiment followed, with favorability and purchasing consideration dropping.
The Effect on the NFL Seems Small, For Now
Ahead of the regular season kickoff game on September 6, when Nike plans to debut the Kaepernick ad, Morning Consult’s survey suggests that the impact of the ad on the NFL’s viewership will be minimal for now.
Forty percent of consumers said Nike’s announcement does not make them more or less likely to watch or attend NFL games — 21 percent said more likely and 26 percent said less likely (14 percent didn’t know).
Nothing like torching a brand to make a political statement.