Nike appears to have benefited from the publicity generated by its controversial advertising campaign that features former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Ten days after announcing that Kaepernick would be the face of its “Just Do It”30th-anniversary ad campaign, the sports apparel company’s stock price closed at an all-time high. Bloomberg reported that Nike’s stock closed at $83.47 on Thursday.
Data from Edison Trends, which measures online sales, also showed a positive outlook for Nike. Edison scanned receipts from over 200 online retailers, including Nike.com, and found that Nike purchases were 22 percent higher on Tuesday after Labor Day compared with purchases made on the same day in 2017.
Sales were 42 percent higher Wednesday and 23 percent higher on Thursday. They remained above 2017 levels through the end of the week.
“lt will likely be months, if not longer, until anyone can fully measure the business impact of Nike Inc.’s controversial partnership with quarterback-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick, but early data from Edison Trends show sales tracking well above last year,” Bloomberg’s Eben Novy-Williams wrote.
CNBC reported that a Wall Street analyst described the controversial ad as a stroke of genius, and upgraded Nike’s stock to buy rating. Canaccord Genuity’s Camilo Lyon said that Nike’s shares could rally to $95 in 12 months.
“This premeditated move was another subtle but significant sign of Nike’s strength and confidence in its position in the marketplace, one that likely does more good than harm,” Lyon told clients.
Data from Robinhood, a no-fee brokerage popular among young traders, showed that a total of 15,191 investors added Nike to their portfolios last week through Thursday.
“Investors on Robinhood are buying Nike stock 300% more than they are selling, compared to 12% last week,” Robinhood data scientist Sahill Poddar told Business Insider.
The ad features Kaepernick, who became one of the most polarizing figures in the world of sports after he took a leading role in player protests. He is known for protesting racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem.
The campaign was released to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Nike’s iconic “Just Do it” slogan, and it drew flak from some consumers. There were those who called for a boycott and burned their Nike gear. A Louisiana town mayor attempted to ban the gear from being sold at public utilities. Even President Donald Trump has something to say about the topic.
Analysts said that the sneaker could be taking short-term pain for long-term gain.