Colin Kaepernick’s “Effect on Nike”

A stock market record and a jump in online sales are all indications that Nike has managed to win by choosing Colin Kaepernick, the controversial American footballer, to embody his latest advertising campaign.

The comma brand sparked an uproar in early September, revealing the choice of the former quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers to embody the 30th anniversary of its iconic slogan: “Just Do It“.

The player – who no longer has a club – used to kneel down during the national anthem to denounce racist violence. The Conservatives saw an affront to the country and President Trump seized the matter.

But, far from following the boycott calls, investors continued to bet on the brand. The title Nike closed on Thursday at 83.47 dollars, a level never reached since its IPO in 1980, even causing a tweet from the American star basketball, LeBron James.

The rise in the share price is, however, part of a longer trend: the share price has risen 34% since the beginning of the year.

The strategy also seems to be winning on the side of online sales, despite some spectacular videos on social networks showing customers, outraged by the choice of Kaepernick, burning their shoes or cutting off the comma on their sportswear.

Many observers are calling for the moment to remain cautious on these figures which show a leap of 31% in online sales between Sunday, September 2, the day before advertising and a holiday in the United States, and Tuesday 4 September, according to figures from Edison Trends.

These sales then returned the following Sunday “about the level where they were before the advertisement,” the company adds, while they had fallen sharply last year at the same time.

Interestingly, according to Edison Trends, sales accelerated in states seen as more left-wing, like Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware, while declines were noted in more conservative regions. Idaho, Wyoming and Montana in particular.

The campaign was “risky” but “absolutely” justified, said Larry Miller, president of the brand Jordan, a subsidiary of the sports equipment supplier.