Nike attracted some big controversy with its ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, and now the company is reaping even bigger rewards.
A new report from CBS News notes that the company’s market value has risen by $6 billion after launching the campaign that features the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback. Kaepernick became a polarizing figure after taking a knee during the national anthem in protest of police brutality against minorities, and his supporters believe that he was blacklisted from the league due to his political views.
But Nike decided to make Kaepernick the face of its “Just Do It” campaign, one that generated controversy and led to some boycotts from conservatives.
That has not been enough to hurt the company, and in fact Nike’s stock has seen a sharp rise since the Kaepernick campaign started.
“Nike shares have surged 36 percent on the year, making the company the top performer on the Dow’s index of 30 blue-chip stocks,” the CBS News report noted. “The run-up includes a nearly 5 percent increase since Nike’s Labor Day announcement that Kaepernick would be featured in its campaign, adding nearly $6 billion to the company’s market value.”
The impact was almost immediate. Just weeks after the campaign was announced, Nike’s stock reached an all-time high, Bloomberg reported.
The report noted that the full value that the Kaepernick campaign added to Nike is not yet known, but it is already clear that it has been a boost to the company.
“It 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.
Kaepernick had been signed with Nike since before he started the national anthem protest two years ago, with the company reportedly waiting for the right time to launch the campaign. The company started the “Just Do It” campaign even in the middle of Kaepernick’s lawsuit against NFL owners claiming that they colluded to keep him out of the league.
Though Colin Kaepernick was unable to find a new team after leaving the San Francisco 49ers, a number of players have carried on the national anthem protests. The protests have also become a frequent target for President Donald Trump, who in the past had called on NFL owners to fire players who took a knee during the national anthem.