Survey: Nike favorability tanks immediately after launch of Kaepernick campaign

Via the IJR. What’s that tagline again? Ah, right: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Nike won’t sacrifice everything over this, but they’re gonna sacrifice something. Per Morning Consult, “Before the announcement, Nike had a net +69 favorable impression among consumers, it has now declined 34 points to +35 favorable.” Cut in half.

It’s not too late to pull that Kaep ad from tonight’s NFL season opener.

Down in every single group, including blacks and the youngest adults, and now net negative among Republicans. They went from 75 points above water in net favorability to GOPers to underwater overnight. Gadzooks. They’re down much less among Nike customers, which in the end is the only group Nike really cares about, but they’re down even among that bloc. “Okay,” you might say, “but holding a dimmer view of the company itself doesn’t necessarily mean people will be less likely to fork over their cash.” True, but the two are linked to some extent, of course. Morning Consult also polled people on whether they’re still “absolutely certain” or “very likely” to buy Nike products. Results: They’re down in every group there too, from 49 percent to 39 among all adults and from 80 percent to 72 among Nike customers specifically. (They went from 51 percent to 28 percent among Republicans. Yeeeeeesh.)

The chief criticism of this post yesterday noting that recent Nike customers view Kaepernick positively by a rate of two to one was that alienating a third of your customers is … not good. Unless the people who like the ad campaign are willing to offset lost sales by buying *more* products, the company’s destined to lose business. Now here comes Morning Consult to suggest that it’s worse than that for Nike. Contra yesterday’s numbers, they’ve seen both their popularity and their customer’s base willingness to buy shoes decline in every single demographic.

Maybe the company should give Kaep the Poochie treatment in tonight’s ad, yanking him out of frame and sending him back to his home planet. Says a Twitter pal, “It’s going to be lit when Kap gets fired and all the woke people start burning their stuff and all the morons who already burnt theirs buy new stuff.” Exit question: Is Kaepernick the chief problem with the ad campaign or is it the gimmicky nature of it? Another question from Morning Consult asked people if they think Nike featured him out of sincere admiration for his actions or as a publicity stunt. The public split 32/38. But what would an ad campaign featuring Kaep have looked like to avoid being labeled a “publicity stunt”? Almost by definition, if you’re a sports apparel company building your message around a guy who hasn’t played in two years and is now famous mainly for controversial political activism, it’s going to feel like a stunt. If it doesn’t, odds are it’s because you agree with Kaepernick’s message yourself.

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David Strom 12:31 PM on December 07, 2022