Yesterday I read some comment somewhere along these lines of, "Nike is a big business and knows what they're doing. They ran all the numbers and decided correctly that the whole Kaepernick thing will be a net benefit. Just watch."
OK, I'm watching. This is what I'm seeing from Morning Consult:
The report features over 8,000 interviews conducted among American adults, including 1,694 interviews pre-campaign launch (8/26/18 – 9/3/18) and 5,481 interviews post-campaign launch (9/4/18 – 9/5/18). Additionally, Morning Consult conducted a study among 1,168 adults in the U.S. about Nike’s ad and the decision to choose Kaepernick as the face of the campaign.
Nike’s Favorability Drops by Double Digits: Before the announcement, Nike had a net +69 favorable impression among consumers, it has now declined 34 points to +35 favorable.
No Boost Among Key Demos: Among younger generations, Nike users, African Americans, and other key demographics, Nike’s favorability declined rather than improved.
Purchasing Consideration Also Down: Before the announcement, 49 percent of Americans said they were absolutely certain or very likely to buy Nike products. That figure is down to 39 percent now.
The Effect on the NFL Seems Small, For Now: Forty percent of consumers said Nike’s campaign does not make them more or less likely to watch/attend NFL games — 21 percent said more likely and 26 percent said less likely (14 percent didn’t know).
Nike’s Reputation Takes A Hit Overall and Across Key Demographics.
Here's the thing. Big businesses run the numbers past very smart people all the time, and yet they still sometimes produce WTF? ad campaigns, or crap products, or even go out of business. It certainly doesn't look from these numbers like Nike is going out of business, but it does seem like management needlessly hurt the company's brand and that of one of its major customers, the NFL.
It's the sort of notoriously bad decision they'll teach someday in business schools, and it ought to result in a management shakeup -- but we'll see.