Nike’s move to make Colin Kaepernick the face of their 30th-anniversary campaign has dominated the news in the worlds of both sports and politics since it was first announced. While at first glance this appears to be the sneaker giant taking a massive risk and stoking the fires of a divided country, it’s actually quite a calculated move by the company. Market research has revealed that Nike’s latest ad campaign is perfectly in sync with the race, age, and political views of its current customer base, in the end making it a no-brainer.
TMZ has been in touch with a source that has a direct knowledge of Nike’s marketing, allowing the publication to get an inside view into the decision making of the company. From what has been revealed, the majority of Nike’s most loyal customers directly align with those supporting Kaepernick’s protest campaign.
Non-white races and ethnicities, primarily African-American, Hispanics and Asians, have a greater representation in Nike’s customer base than they do within the actual population of the United States itself. According to the statistics given to TMZ, African-Americans account for 13 percent of the population, but 18 percent of Nike’s market share. The same story goes for Hispanics, who are 16 percent of the population but 19 percent of Nike buyers, and Asians, who are 3 percent of the population but 5 percent of Nike customers.
These stats reveal that white Americans are actually underrepresented in the world of Nike’s consumer base. Current numbers reveal that while the Caucasians in the United States make up about 75 percent of the population, it represents only 67 percent of Nike’s base. Even more, within that base of white Americans, the majority of that demographic still fits the age and politics that would lead them to support the Kaepernick ad campaign.
For those keeping track of the numbers, TMZ explains that the numbers don’t add up to 100 percent because the marketing numbers accounted for those who identify as more than one race.
Nike’s age demographics also heavily skew younger, and thus a demographic more supportive of Kaepernick. Stats reveal 18- to 34-year-olds make up 30 percent of the American population while representing 43 percent of Nike’s customers. When looking at people 65 and older, who account for 19 percent of the population, they represent only 6 percent of Nike customers.
Moving on to politics, the numbers show that Nike’s customers are 7 percent less likely to be Republicans than the general population and 3 percent more likely to be Democrats.
So at the end of the day, while Nike did take a risk with this campaign, the majority of the negative reaction is going to come from those that fall outside of its target demographics. A calculated enough business decision that should be expected from a company worth billions.