Controversial response to Nike ad is likely what the company aimed for

The NFL season kicks off tonight. But there’s one player who is currently off the field, and instead, on billboards across the country and many people’s minds.

Odell Beckham Junior and Shaquem Griffin are the two other NFL faces that are a part of Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ campaign, but it’s the political statement made by Colin Kaepernick’s involvement that’s stirring the pot.

Assistant Store Leader at Scheels Minot, Adam Cool, said, “Nike is only looking to get a response, they’re looking for that big blow up.”
And that’s exactly what Nike got.
Despite its 3.2 percent stock drop on Tuesday, Bloomberg reports that Colin Kaepernick’s face on Nike’s 30th anniversary ‘Just Do It’ campaign generated more than 43 million dollars in free media exposure – that’s according to Apex Marketing Group.


Nicole Desrosier, owner of Kanak Media Solutions, said that’s not too surprising.

“For everyone that is voicing their opinion, they’re getting a social media hit,” Desrosier said. “You’re seeing it on your Facebook, you’re seeing it on Twitter. That’s free. They don’t even have to pay for that.”

The hashtags #just do it’ and #boycottNike continue to trend on Twitter as people express their opinions in support or protest of Nike’s decision. People are even taking their distaste to the extent of lighting Nike products that were presumably paid for on fire.

Cool said the best thing store management can do is ignore a big controversy like this one.
He added, “Scheels doesn’t take immediate stance on anything like that.”

No stance means you can still expect to see that swoosh throughout the store.
“We do have the right to choose any line that we want, and Nike’s always going to be a part of Scheels,” said Cool. “But we get to pick the individual items.”

From the marketing stand point, what was Nike’s ad team thinking when they decided to take a political stance?

“I think Nike is definitely taking a risk, but it was a calculated risk,” said Desrosier. “For every person out there that is not liking their decision, there’s another person who’s supporting them and loving the fact that they’re doing this.”

 “In some ways, it’s somewhat genius, the way they decide that they’re going to take something so controversial and just get everybody talking about it, one way or another – negative or positive,” Cool added.

He said the Scheels customer base is very loyal and community driven, so he doesn’t expect that a nationwide issue like this one would affect Nike sales at Scheels.

As for Nike, according to CNN Money, back in March, the brand extended its partnership with the NFL to 2028 instead of expiring in 2020.

All 32 NFL teams will have Nike game-day uniforms and sideline apparel.

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