RSN Fundraising Banner
Colin Kaepernick Just Schooled Donald Trump on How Capitalism Works
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=5082"><span class="small">Ian Millhiser, ThinkProgress</span></a>   
Monday, 10 September 2018 08:38

Millhiser writes: "For Nike, taking the opposite side from Donald Trump in a culture war isn't just a good way to get noticed, it is good business."

A Nike ad featuring Colin Kaepernick. (photo: Getty Images)
A Nike ad featuring Colin Kaepernick. (photo: Getty Images)

Colin Kaepernick Just Schooled Donald Trump on How Capitalism Works

By Ian Millhiser, ThinkProgress

10 September 18

Of course Nike's sales are up.

ike’s online sales spiked by 31 percent from the Sunday before Labor Day through the next Tuesday, eclipsing the 17 percent growth Nike saw during the same period in 2017. This followed Nike’s announcement of an ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback who was allegedly blacklisted by the league because he protested police violence against African-Americans.

This spike in sales defied the stock market’s expectations of the likely impact of Nike’s campaign — Nike’s stock dropped sharply when trading opened Tuesday morning. The ad campaign also earned a predictable response from America’s Racist-in-Chief.

But Nike’s strong performance shouldn’t surprise anyone with a basic understanding of Nike’s business strategy — or anyone who understands how economic markets differ from political debate. For Nike, taking the opposite side from Donald Trump in a culture war isn’t just a good way to get noticed, it is good business.

Last year, Nike announced that it would focus much of its marketing efforts on just 12 cities — New York, London, Shanghai, Beijing, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Paris, Berlin, Mexico City, Barcelona, Seoul, and Milan. The company said it expects 80 percent of its growth to come from these cites between 2017 and 2020.

None of these cites are the sort of places where you are likely to find brigades of white men wearing MAGA hats and ranting against Black Lives Matter — and those MAGAbots who do exist in these urban areas are very much in the minority. A month after Trump took second place in the 2016 election, a poll found that 70 percent of New Yorkers have an unfavorable view of the accidental president. In California, where Los Angeles is the largest city, His Accidency is not much more popular.

The genius of the Kaepernick ad campaign, in other words, isn’t that it was likely to sell shoes to the kind of older white voters that political reporters like to talk to when they go on safari to Iowa diners. Rather, the genius of the campaign is that, for every Trump supporter who is inspired to light their own shoes on fire, there are many more voters in key urban areas who admire Colin Kaepernick, and who aren’t particularly fond of Donald Trump either.

There’s also a lesson here for analysts who monitor the stock markets to assess how the broader U.S. economy is doing. The stock market is not the economy. It reflects the (sometimes) educated guesses of the investor class — a group that tends to be much wealthier and more Republican than the nation as a whole — as to how particular companies are likely to perform.

If you bet against these investors’ predictions about how Nike’s Kaepernick campaign will play out, you probably will wind up wealthier than if you bet on the Trumpian conventional wisdom.

Email This Page your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

-1 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-09-10 09:44
The genius of Nike is that it has been able to get away with being a predatory capitalist crime syndicate for 40 years. My prediction is that Kaepernick will soon get woke to Nike's crimes against its workers and school both Nike and America on just how corporations like Nike operate. Nike pays the people who make its shoes and clothes an average of 20 cents an hour. That means many people make less than 20 cents an hour. The workers are supervised by armed guards. Nike is a slave operation. Kaepernick will get woke in another week or two. He'll turn on Nike, just as he turned on the NFL and killer cops.
+2 # MikeAF48 2018-09-11 10:59
What are you bitchen about I'm sure Nike sent Trump a pair of golf shoes and a big Thank you note telling him to keep up the big mouth talk.
0 # lfeuille 2018-09-12 00:11
This is a relief. I know that Nike is a capitalist exploiter of workers, but that's the world we live in right now. Any result would have be taken as an excuse to marginalize Kaepernick and also the Black Lives Matter movement.