Nike shares recovered their losses on Monday after their contentious publicity campaign featuring former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick initially spurred a drop in their shares. The campaign, released to celebrate Nike’s 30th anniversary of their slogan “Just Do it,” sparked both backlash and support of the brand.
Kaepernick has been a polarizing character in the sports world ever since he decided not to stand for the national anthem during an NFL preseason football game in 2016. He did so to protest racial inequality in America and, at the request of a military veteran, chose to kneel during the anthem in following games.
The campaign with Kaepernick led many social media users to upload videos of themselves burning Nike merchandise and cutting the logo off of shirts, shorts, and socks. Their risky advertisement nearly led to a boycott worthy of attention, but the overwhelming support for the campaign trumped the criticism.
Despite the three percent blow that Nike took to its stock, its online sales surged after launching the campaign. Its shares have escalated about 31 percent this year, so far.
According to Edison Trends, a digital-commerce researcher, Nike’s product orders increased by 27 percent from Sunday to Wednesday of Labor Day weekend. During the same time last year, their product orders dropped by two percent.
Nike stated that the campaign will include other athletes like LeBron James, Odell Beckham Jr., and Serena Williams, among others. Nike is set to publish its quarterly earnings later this month.