Is there business logic for Nike embracing Colin Kaepernick? I think there is, for the NFL and athletic shoe business are very different.
In the conservative blogosphere, on Fox News, and among my friends, the name of Nike has been forever damaged by the brand’s embrace of Colin Kaepernick, who sparked the widespread disrespect for our flag by NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem. Pictures and videos of Nike gear burning already are proliferating among the outraged:
— LADbible (@ladbible) September 4, 2018
Given the damage that the NFL has suffered from failing to confront players over their disrespect, many are wondering how on Earth Nike could be so stupid.
But I suspect that this was a calculated decision, not an impulse based on the ideology of the CEO. Successful companies the size of Nike (2017 sales of $34 billion, 74,400 employees) closely analyze serious decisions such as selecting Kaepernick for a very visible endorsement. Focus groups, survey research, and a close analysis of which demographic slices buy which products, with what profit margins, almost certainly preceded the decision.
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