Reddit | codyong

Nike Market Value Rises By Almost $3 Billion After Listening To Colin Kaepernick

As far back as 2011, Nike saw a reason to add Colin Kaepernick to their endorsement roster. Although there was some time when it was unclear what they gained from this since they weren't featuring him in any ads, that suddenly changed in September of last year.

As Kaepernick's decision to kneel during the national anthem at NFL games earned him some polarizing notoriety, his relationship with Nike took on a context of social consciousness. As far as the public was concerned, Nike was either standing behind someone who remained committed to protesting police violence against black citizens or contributing to the disrespect of national symbols.

Although Nike's promotion of Kaepernick may have seemed risky at the time, recent reports indicate that it's paid off in a major way.

The most recent chapter of Nike's relationship with Kaepernick and the American public began with a special shoe the company was planning for the Fourth of July.

Reddit | -GrapeGrass-

As Forbes reported, these "Air Max 1 USAs"were intended to sell for $140 each and featured a flag design attributed to Betsy Ross during the American Revolution.

This flag displayed 13 stars to represent the original 13 colonies that secured their independence from British rule.

However, the use of this flag in the shoe's design drew criticism from Kaepernick for what it represented.

Reddit | codyong

Specifically, the issue was that the flag represented an era when black people could still be owned as slaves, including by some of America's most celebrated founding fathers.

Worse yet, the Wall Street Journal had reported that this flag had potentially been adopted by extremist groups.

Apparently taking Kaepernick's words to heart, Nike decided to scrap the design entirely.

Twitter | @GoDavidCross

This sparked an outpouring of backlash from members of the public, including Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, who cancelled $2 million in incentives for Nike to build a new manufacturing plant in the state.

As this plant would have brought 500 jobs to Arizona, however, this appeared to hurt the state more than Nike.

As for Nike, they've only seen more success as a result of pulling the shoes at Kaepernick's request.

Reddit | imjohnvee

According to Forbes, they've not only seen their market share increase by almost $3 billion, but they've also enjoyed a 2% stock increase.

This comes on the heels of a CNBC report that their revenues rose 10% last year to $9.7 billion, while North American sales alone climbed 8% to $4.17 billion.

For those who have had their eye on the public's response to Nike and Kaepernick's partnership, this story should sound a little familiar.

Reddit | journeytonowhere

After all, their decision to feature Kaepernick in an ad showing explicit support for his activism also proved fruitful for the company despite apparent backlash.

Indeed, the backlash seemed pretty impassioned as consumers recorded videos of themselves burning their Nike merchandise.

Reddit | journeytonowhere

As CBS News reported, the ad also received negative feedback from President Donald Trump, who said it sent a "terrible message."

Much like in the more recent "Betsy Ross" case, however, the controversy only benefited Nike.

Reddit | iambacck

Not only did they receive $43 million worth of media exposure as a result of the ad, but CBS News reported that their stock price reached an all-time high at $83.49 per share.

This came in the wake of a 31% rise in online sales after the ad was aired.

h/t: Forbes