Kaepernick Campaign Delivers A 31% Sales Bump For Nike

Nike took a chance when it made NFL quarterback-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick a company spokesman, but the gambit has paid off: the retailer’s online sales jumped 31% between Sept. 2 and Sept. 4, according to data from Edison Trends. In comparison, sales grew 17% during the same period in 2017.

The start of Labor Day weekend is typically a weak point for Nike’s e-Commerce sales, which fall from Friday through Sunday before picking up again the following Monday and Tuesday, according to Edison Trends. The firm tracks data from 3 million U.S. shoppers to determine the sales numbers.

Putting Kaepernick at the center of a major campaign makes sense for Nike, despite the threat of boycotts and negative attention from President Donald Trump: 46% of recent Nike customers have a favorable view of Kaepernick, compared to 34% of all U.S. adults, according to data from YouGov. Nike customers react favorably to companies that take stands in general:

  • While 78% of recent Nike shoppers appreciate it when a company has a moral message, that number drops to 68% among all Americans;
  • More than two-thirds of Nike shoppers (68%) feel brands should be allowed to express how they feel on any given topic, compared to 57% of all shoppers; and
  • The majority of Nike customers (65%) like brands that are willing to get involved in social issues, while only 45% of all U.S. consumers agree.

Demographics might play a role in this difference: 44% of U.S. adults who’ve bought Nike apparel or sneakers in the past three months fall between the ages of 18 and 34. Younger consumers have a greater interest in a brand’s values, and 52% of Millennials find it important that a retailer’s values align with theirs, compared to 48% of Gen Xers and 35% of Baby Boomers.


For further discussion on how this latest campaign may affect Nike, check out the Retail TouchPoints blog.

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