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Following the release of Nike's controversial advertisement, New York investors are bullish on the company's future.

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NY Knows

Zach Phillips, Design Director

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In the past, only on rare occasions did public companies take stances on controversial issues. Why risk losing clientele, loyal customers who represent nearly every social and religious persuasion, to advance an opinion held by company? Is it appropriate for a company to have political views? Can there be such a thing as a company with political views?

Since the beginning of the 21st century, however, companies have become more politicized than ever before. Companies like Walmart, Facebook, and Pepsi, have greater and stronger political, and social, affiliations than ever before.

The release of Nike’s viral and controversial ‘Just Do It’ advertisement, starring former-quarterback Colin Kaepernick, has shown, to the world that now, more than ever, Nike is more-than-willing to make a bold statement on controversial issues.

The advertisement features Colin Kaepernick, Lebron James, Serena Williams and other athletes. The controversiality stemmed mostly from Kaepernick’s history as an advocate for racial justice, kneeling during the National Anthem to protest police shootings of African-American men and other social issues faced by African-Americans across America.

The release of the advertisement prompted all kinds of responses. Many filmed themselves burning their Nike products, while others lauded the company, and purchased more Nike products, for sharing their beliefs.

President Trump was less-than-enthralled with the release of this latest advertising campaign: “Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts,” Trump tweeted on September 5.

“What was Nike thinking?” he said in a September 7 tweet.

Despite negative reactions, Nike has seen a dramatic increase in exposure: and not only as a result of the advertisement itself. Over the last few weeks, Nike, and its advertisement, has been discussed by both national and local news publications, with political pundits providing hours of priceless time on air.

The New York Stock Exchange is also excited about the future of the clothing company, with Nike shares experiencing a $6 billion rally in market value over the past month. Sales are up, jumping as much as 31% on Labor Day weekend. Daily volume for Nike stock (NKE), which directly related demand, has also risen dramatically. At this point in time, there does not seem to be an end in sight for the Beaverton, Oregon retailer: several of New York’s largest banks speculate that the stock could continue to rise in the coming days and months.

While the politicization of popular companies may be unfamiliar and uncomfortable to many, it seems like it is here to stay. Nike has succeeded beyond the expectations of many (including the President of the United States), and will continue to relish in the aftermath of their hugely-successful 30th-anniversary campaign.

 

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