Nike Stock Plummets after Backlash over Colin Kaepernick’s “Just Do It” Ad

by | Sep 5, 2018 | NEWS

Nike (NYSE: NKE) shares fell significantly Tuesday after announcing that Colin Kaepernick would be one of the athletes featured in the 30th anniversary of their “Just Do It” campaign. The company’s stock price fell from $82.50 at close on Friday to $79.39 at open Tuesday morning.

Kaepernick – one-time quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers – has been the center of controversy since his refusal to stand for the national anthem during games in 2016 in protest of racism and growing police violence.

While not currently a member of any NFL team, Kaepernick is a role model to many and is one of many athletes Nike has signed for the campaign, including Serena Williams, Lebron James, Lacey Baker, Shaquem Griffin, and Odell Beckham Jr.

The “Just Do It” campaign is celebrating its 30th anniversary and has featured numerous celebrity spokespersons over the decades.

Nike’s stock isn’t the only casualty of the controversy. Social media has been abuzz with those attacking the choice and those speaking up in defense of Nike and Kaepernick.

Kaepernick had a previous deal with Nike, signed in 2011, that was set to expire, but the company renegotiated the terms and kept Kaepernick as one of the faces of their campaign despite criticism from opponents of Kaepernick’s methods.

Kaepernick Tweeted Monday about the endorsement, and it has gone viral.

“Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt”

The response #NikeBoycott has gone viral as well, and people all over the country are posting pictures of Nike products in various states of destruction. Many have threatened to burn their sneakers and destroy all other Nike products.

The call to boycott Nike products has been loud.

But the defenders’ voices are loud as well.

It remains to be seen how the move will impact long-term sales, but since Nike’s demographic is largely young and urban, the move may not be as divisive as many are predicting.