The NFL and the National Anthem

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I think it is great as well.

I will bet on Nike's marketing team over the NFLs every time, though I agree with you there's some complex math on how it will play out.
This has done nothing to mitigate my huge Stan-boy complex for Nike's marketing department.

Did everyone see the Virgil Abloh tutu they made for Serena?

This has to qualify as the single biggest troll advertising since Ginsu advertised in ancient Rome 43 BC. The owners have to be furious, which makes it quite delicious in my book.
I put it at second behind J.J. Abrams trolling the GamerGater types by letting them get all worked up into a lather thinking the next Jedi was a black guy.

I tend to agree with those who think that Nike has this figured out the right way and the NFL is stupid, all of the evidence points to both of those things being true. But Nike doesn’t just sell a pair of socks to someone and then sit back and count their money. They need the people who bought the pair of socks to buy a bunch more the next time he or she needs socks. So, yeah, tearing up the socks doesn’t hurt Nike in the moment, but if the person tearing up the socks also doesn’t buy Nike socks the next time he needs socks that’s a problem for Nike.

The same thing was true for the whole Keurig thing, and actually more acutely true since they make their money on the pods not the machines, so smashing the machines actually does hurt them if the person smashing the machine is no longer buying pods.

Now having said all of that I think Keurig is fine and I think Nike will be fine, but not because they already banked the money from these idiots, but because ultimately I think the MAGAs are are in the minority and also not very disciplined about this kind of thing, and there are a tremendous number of people who support what Kaepernick is doing and will flock to Nike as a result.
I think this is correct, and if we apply the @Shelterdog Belichick Maxim to Nike and start with the assumption that they have a good business reason for this decision...

FOXNews succeeded by realizing that, if instead of fighting for the median viewer and the middle, if they moved to one side of the spectrum, they could capture that market segment and that was enough.

Nike may have developed a Southern Strategy.

Love this. Regardless of what one thinks their motive, Nike's going to be on the right side of history on this issue.
Yup.

And in some circles, it's been noted that there is the potential for a huge windfall to a first mover advantage here on social justice if a corporation would be willing to make the move.

Justice and profit motives aligning seems like a good thing.

Unfortunately, the consensus is that Target suffered for its decision to take a stand on bathroom access for trans people. But I think the analogy to Nike is flawed in a number of ways. In particular, Target seemed to be caught off-guard by the vehemence of the backlash; Nike assuredly won’t be similarly surprised.
I think this is a very astute point.

It's very different from the Target thing where they seemed to just be trying to move with history. This is... well--Nike is moving into an aggressive posture on this.

They just told America, among other things, that they've signed up to be Kaep's financial guardian angel. That is really going to piss some people off. :)

I am happy to see Kaep rewarded for what in my opinion is the right thing. But as far as Nike goes, this is up there with the State Street girl stares down the bull statue in terms of people suddenly rooting for a soulless massive corporation.
True. But if the soulless corporation moved, it's because the market voted for it to.

As long as we need shoes, we're going to end up voting for one of these "people," yeah?
 

mauf

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Consensus based on what? Conservative financial analysts who disagreed with the policy?

They suffered short term a bit, sure, but their stock price and profits have all recovered nicely.
Analysts who follow the retail industry. It didn’t hurt them nearly as much as the 2013 data breach, or their lackluster strategy in the early part of the decade, but it was a net negative. The criticisms I’ve heard all had to do with execution rather than the decision itself, so I don’t think it’s politics masquerading as analysis.

Edit: Here’s a WSJ article (likely paywalled) that echoes the criticisms of Target I’ve heard elsewhere — again, for their execution rather than for the policy itself, which isn’t different from the policies of most other chains, including archrival Walmart.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-target-botched-its-response-to-the-north-carolina-bathroom-law-1491404107
 
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HomeRunBaker

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I posted this in a discussion thread on FB (shoot me I know). Figured I'd share here to elicit thoughts.....

Their continued growth in India, Latin America and Asia has been driving their growth story for years now with the US being so heavily saturated and I feel this is a huge Asia play for them. Here is what I see happening...….the NBA is ridiculously huge in these overseas markets. You are going to see NBA stars who support this cause (which is the large majority) flock to Nike once their existing shoe deals are up. Nike is going to OWN the China market, which some project to surpass the US as the worlds largest economy within the next 15 years, once this shift of NBA stars begins. From my seat it looks like Nike is giving the NFL and Goodell a gigantic F-U as the NBA is the worlds fastest growing sport......Nike is leveraging Kaepernick and the NFL to ultimately destroy all competitors in India, Latin America and especially China with the NBA brand. They don't give two craps about what this does to the NFL which is why they strategically timed this release, which is why I strongly disagree with Sean that this wasn't highly calculated.
 

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I posted this in a discussion thread on FB (shoot me I know). Figured I'd share here to elicit thoughts.....

Their continued growth in India, Latin America and Asia has been driving their growth story for years now with the US being so heavily saturated and I feel this is a huge Asia play for them. Here is what I see happening...….the NBA is ridiculously huge in these overseas markets. You are going to see NBA stars who support this cause (which is the large majority) flock to Nike once their existing shoe deals are up. Nike is going to OWN the China market, which some project to surpass the US as the worlds largest economy within the next 15 years, once this shift of NBA stars begins. From my seat it looks like Nike is giving the NFL and Goodell a gigantic F-U as the NBA is the worlds fastest growing sport......Nike is leveraging Kaepernick and the NFL to ultimately destroy all competitors in India, Latin America and especially China with the NBA brand. They don't give two craps about what this does to the NFL which is why they strategically timed this release, which is why I strongly disagree with Sean that this wasn't highly calculated.
Good post. And you made me realize something else they're up to.

Like, you use symbols to organize or connect to large groups of people because it's easier for people to read whatever they want into it, right?

And we know that so many different people read different things in to Kaepernick's "cause" as you put it--which is a good way of putting it here.

Kaep's may be about to become a thing--like, an international thing. I figure Nike can use both themes of inclusiveness and multiculturalism alongside strong individualism and grit and stuff, plus convictions and integrity. And then people can weave whatever they want. They can even let anti-American filter in in much of the world without being responsible, what with the "flag protest" angle. Whatever the consumer wants.

Basically, sunshine, rainbows, and puppy dogs for everyone except for one international niche. Sounds like a really good play.
 

BigJimEd

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I posted this in a discussion thread on FB (shoot me I know). Figured I'd share here to elicit thoughts.....

Their continued growth in India, Latin America and Asia has been driving their growth story for years now with the US being so heavily saturated and I feel this is a huge Asia play for them. Here is what I see happening...….the NBA is ridiculously huge in these overseas markets. You are going to see NBA stars who support this cause (which is the large majority) flock to Nike once their existing shoe deals are up. Nike is going to OWN the China market, which some project to surpass the US as the worlds largest economy within the next 15 years, once this shift of NBA stars begins. From my seat it looks like Nike is giving the NFL and Goodell a gigantic F-U as the NBA is the worlds fastest growing sport......Nike is leveraging Kaepernick and the NFL to ultimately destroy all competitors in India, Latin America and especially China with the NBA brand. They don't give two craps about what this does to the NFL which is why they strategically timed this release, which is why I strongly disagree with Sean that this wasn't highly calculated.
I believe Nike already had a good amount of NBA players. James, Durant, Kyrie, etc... Jordan line is huge.
They don't need Kaep to attract NBA players. NBA stars will flock to where the money is
 

Marciano490

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I believe Nike already had a good amount of NBA players. James, Durant, Kyrie, etc... Jordan line is huge.
They don't need Kaep to attract NBA players. NBA stars will flock to where the money is
There are always new stars coming into the league and stars with contracts expiring.

What a country we live in that people would rather burn their possessions than at least give them away. I wonder how many homeless vets could use a new pair of Nike kicks or some hoodies or apparel.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I believe Nike already had a good amount of NBA players. James, Durant, Kyrie, etc... Jordan line is huge.
They don't need Kaep to attract NBA players. NBA stars will flock to where the money is
I disagree that Nike is comfortable in being complacent. If given the opportunity I'm sure they would want every single player in the league to don Nike's. We will find out soon enough as most of the NBA sneaker deals are structured to expire at the end of September as the annual batch of free agents feet hit the market.
 

BigJimEd

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There are always new stars coming into the league and stars with contracts expiring.
Sure and Nike has done well at signing them. They've also doing very well in China already.

I don't realt see any evidence that signing Kaep was a way to attract NBA players and dominate in markets they are already doing well in.

I think some posters might be projecting a little and want more significance to this deal than there is.

I think it is a good move by Nike. And reportedly some other companies were looking to sign him away so Nike wasn't alone in their decision. I just hesitate to put that much value on it.
 

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I disagree that Nike is comfortable in being complacent. If given the opportunity I'm sure they would want every single player in the league to don Nike's. We will find out soon enough as most of the NBA sneaker deals are structured to expire at the end of September as the annual batch of free agents feet hit the market.
Also, any given person at Nike who wants to advance has to try to do something to do so. It's not in Nike's corporate structure to become complacent about such things.
 

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Sure and Nike has done well at signing them. They've also doing very well in China already.

I don't realt see any evidence that signing Kaep was a way to attract NBA players and dominate in markets they are already doing well in.

I think some posters might be projecting a little and want more significance to this deal than there is.

I think it is a good move by Nike. And reportedly some other companies were looking to sign him away so Nike wasn't alone in their decision. I just hesitate to put that much value on it.
I am intrigued by this theory of "sufficient domination." ;)

What Would Bill Belichick Do?
 

Marciano490

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Sure and Nike has done well at signing them. They've also doing very well in China already.

I don't realt see any evidence that signing Kaep was a way to attract NBA players and dominate in markets they are already doing well in.

I think some posters might be projecting a little and want more significance to this deal than there is.

I think it is a good move by Nike. And reportedly some other companies were looking to sign him away so Nike wasn't alone in their decision. I just hesitate to put that much value on it.
I think Rev’s post hits this. You don’t get to be Nike by not looking for every last advantage, no matter how well you’re doing.
 

Marciano490

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With the market seemingly open for it now, does anyone want to create a line of Confederate flag branded shoes and athletic gear with me?

The only catch will be that whoever wears it always comes in second.
 

BaseballJones

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One interesting (to me anyway) point on this is that many colleges and universities are "Nike" schools and have contracts with Nike. There will be all sorts of athletes that disagree with this or are not in favor of Kap that will be forced to wear Nike gear because of these contracts.

Will student athletes seek to go to certain schools because they love this decision and would now prefer to support Nike and Kap, while others try to move away from Nike schools?

What will Nike colleges that are more conservative and lean anti-Kap (or to put it in terms they'd prefer, pro- anthem, pro-police, pro-military) do? Will they seek to get out of their contracts with Nike? This will be fascinating to watch, IMO.
 

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One interesting (to me anyway) point on this is that many colleges and universities are "Nike" schools and have contracts with Nike. There will be all sorts of athletes that disagree with this or are not in favor of Kap that will be forced to wear Nike gear because of these contracts.

Will student athletes seek to go to certain schools because they love this decision and would now prefer to support Nike and Kap, while others try to move away from Nike schools?

What will Nike colleges that are more conservative and lean anti-Kap (or to put it in terms they'd prefer, pro- anthem, pro-police, pro-military) do? Will they seek to get out of their contracts with Nike? This will be fascinating to watch, IMO.
If Nike causes people to show this kind of social consciousness about brands and act on them to that degree then Nike will have changed the world and should probably win the Nobel Prize.
 

BigJimEd

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I am intrigued by this theory of "sufficient domination." ;)

What Would Bill Belichick Do?
Who said anything about sufficient or complacency? If anyone had any evidence that this will make NBA players "flock" to Nike, I'd like to hear it.
I think China sales 15 years and attracting NBA players was very far down the list of reasons NIKE made this deal.
I think it's more a narrative people are making to overhype this signing.
But it wouldn't be the first time I was wrong.

I think Adidas and Puma trying to poach him was a much bigger factor for extending him to a big deal now when they've haven't been utilizing him much
 

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Who said anything about sufficient or complacency? If anyone had any evidence that this will make NBA players "flock" to Nike, I'd like to hear it.
I think China sales 15 years and attracting NBA players was very far down the list of reasons NIKE made this deal.
I think it's more a narrative people are making to overhype this signing.
But it wouldn't be the first time I was wrong.

I think Adidas and Puma trying to poach him was a much bigger factor for extending him to a big deal now when they've haven't been utilizing him much
Why do you think they did it then? Serious question. Just him being poached?

I'm trying to see the cost-benefit equation of a campaign this big and significant, unless they thought Adidas or Puma would do it, but then we have to ask why again...?
 

BigJimEd

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Why do you think they did it then? Serious question. Just him being poached?

I'm trying to see the cost-benefit equation of a campaign this big and significant, unless they thought Adidas or Puma would do it, but then we have to ask why again...?
I think marketing campaign is mostly aimed at US market with some global benefit sure.

I don't really see any evidence to suggest they think this will make NBA star players flock to Nike. Who knows though. Maybe I'm being shortsighted.
 

Kliq

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I think marketing campaign is mostly aimed at US market with some global benefit sure.

I don't really see any evidence to suggest they think this will make NBA star players flock to Nike. Who knows though. Maybe I'm being shortsighted.
I agree. I think this is a PR move with Nike banking that whatever they lose in right-wingers will be made up for in progressives actively purchasing the Kaepernick gear; plus it gets their brand name in the news and makes them look like a progressive company. I find it really hard to believe this is some long term plan to expand the Asian market.
 

Marciano490

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Not to be an ass, but you guys realize Nike is an international brand, and they wouldn’t make any decision based on any one market without weighing the effects on all the others? Is this either of your fields, or are you just speculating?
 

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Absolutely—from a marketing perspective, you don’t cater to one audience at the risk of alienating or losing the rest. I’d be shocked if this wasn’t fairly well thought out in a global context. I also think this may play really well outside the US because so many Nike customers hate Trump—and know that loving Kaepernick pisses him off.
 

BigJimEd

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Not to be an ass, but you guys realize Nike is an international brand, and they wouldn’t make any decision based on any one market without weighing the effects on all the others? Is this either of your fields, or are you just speculating?
Not to be an ass but where did anyone say they made the decision based on one market without weighing other markets.

I said the campaign was primarily aimed at US with global benefits. I could be wrong on that and they'll broaden the campaign. But no where do I suggest they didn't consider other markets.

I still have not seen evidence that this campaign will be a significant reason NBA stats flock top Nike. Again, I could be wrong and short sighted on this fact. I just don't personally think that is much of a factor in the campaign.


For the record, no I am not in marketing. I do work for a global company (not nearly the size of Nike) and am aware and often involved in peripheral of marketing activities. We do plenty of campaigns that are primarily targeted at certain regions as do most other companies I am aware of.
 

jose melendez

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I haven't bought a Nike product since 1996 or so due to sweatshop stuff combined with a general feeling that their version of athletic values were kind of winning is everything. Maybe I got a pair of Nike flip-flops for $10 on clearance in 2008. Anyway, I would now consider buying Nike again based on this. It's penance, I guess. Of course, I probably won't, as I'm quite loyal to Brooks now (Big toe box!), but I'd consider it.
 

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I haven't bought a Nike product since 1996 or so due to sweatshop stuff combined with a general feeling that their version of athletic values were kind of winning is everything. Maybe I got a pair of Nike flip-flops for $10 on clearance in 2008. Anyway, I would now consider buying Nike again based on this. It's penance, I guess. Of course, I probably won't, as I'm quite loyal to Brooks now (Big toe box!), but I'd consider it.
They started making stuff besides shoes. How long were you gone again?

A lot of it is much more fungible than something as functional and specific as athletic shoes too.
 

Dehere

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I think it's fair to assume this isn't a giant FU to the league and Goodell. Nike just extended their sponsorship and apparel deal with the league for another eight years. I don't know what the value of that deal is but a billion dollars would probably be a reasonable place to start guessing.

I don't think this is widely known yet but Nike has a 90-second spot in the Thursday night season opener. It's going to be fascinating to see what the content of the spot is. Nike is pretty damn smart and their messaging is often about the unifying power of sports. I feel like they have an ace in their sleeve that they haven't revealed yet.
 

ElUno20

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With the market seemingly open for it now, does anyone want to create a line of Confederate flag branded shoes and athletic gear with me?

The only catch will be that whoever wears it always comes in second.
I love this. That line can make the new xfl jerseys too.
 

Reverend

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I think it's fair to assume this isn't a giant FU to the league and Goodell. Nike just extended their sponsorship and apparel deal with the league for another eight years. I don't know what the value of that deal is but a billion dollars would probably be a reasonable place to start guessing.

I don't think this is widely known yet but Nike has a 90-second spot in the Thursday night season opener. It's going to be fascinating to see what the content of the spot is. Nike is pretty damn smart and their messaging is often about the unifying power of sports. I feel like they have an ace in their sleeve that they haven't revealed yet.
What suit would "Getting all the people who turned off the NFL over Kaepernick bullshit suddenly interested in what's going on / what happened during the game" be?

Fuck. I want to watch now. Even though I know it'll be all over the internet in like 30 seconds.

Goddammit.
 

BrazilianSoxFan

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With the market seemingly open for it now, does anyone want to create a line of Confederate flag branded shoes and athletic gear with me?

The only catch will be that whoever wears it always comes in second.
Replace shoes and athletic gear with condoms and you might have an awesome product.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Not to be an ass but where did anyone say they made the decision based on one market without weighing other markets.

I said the campaign was primarily aimed at US with global benefits. I could be wrong on that and they'll broaden the campaign. But no where do I suggest they didn't consider other markets.

I still have not seen evidence that this campaign will be a significant reason NBA stats flock top Nike. Again, I could be wrong and short sighted on this fact. I just don't personally think that is much of a factor in the campaign.


For the record, no I am not in marketing. I do work for a global company (not nearly the size of Nike) and am aware and often involved in peripheral of marketing activities. We do plenty of campaigns that are primarily targeted at certain regions as do most other companies I am aware of.
As a marketer, I think I'd agree with your assessment.

Nike marketing budget is most likely broke down into regional spend. Whole Corporate marketing was most certainly aware of/approved this campaign, I doubt this move was done to (A) win the China market or (B) tell one of their largest business partners to get fucked.

This is good old fashion, "protect the base." Its about cross-sell/upsell opportunity. The athletic community is much more friendly to minorities, and Nike pins large portions of their revenue on minorities. Brand Awareness campaigns to this scale are few and far between for Nike - a few yearly commercials for Jordan's or the flagship product for the quarter - and no global enterprise is stepping into the fray for social change unless it benefits them. And while there is certainly some demand generation associated with this campaign, demand gen programs are usually focused on a product that fits a customer/consumers need, a new product/feature, or to highlight a key differentiator between competitors. That's not what this is.

Nope. This is about a very smart marketing organization - as well as, I'm sure, several folks of the executive team and C-level staff - understanding who is buying their products. Whatever they lose by the MAGA crowd will be made up in increased cross-sell/upsell, and it also stimulates lapsed customers into becoming new customers, which is one of the more important KPIs for a marketing org, as new customers are much more likely to become repeat customers.

The processes the marketing team undertook (and continue to take) to get this launched successfully are large, complex, and risky. That the campaign comes across so elegantly simple is a credit to them.
 
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Reverend

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As a marketer, I think I'd agree with your assessment.

Nike marketing budget is most likely broke down into regional spend. Whole Corporate marketing was most certainly aware of/approved this campaign, I doubt this move was done to (A) win the China market or (B) tell one of their largest business partners to get fucked.

This is good old fashion, "protect the base." Its about cross-sell/upsell opportunity. The athletic community is much more friendly to minorities, and Nike pins large portions of their revenue on minorities. Brand Awareness campaigns to this scale are few and far between for Nike - a few yearly commercials for Jordan's or the flagship product for the quarter - and no global enterprise is stepping into the fray for social change unless it benefits them. And while there is certainly some demand generation associated with this campaign, demand gen programs are usually focused on a product that fits a customer/consumers need, a new product/feature, or to highlight a key differentiator between competitors. That's not what this is.

Nope. This is about a very smart marketing organization - as well as, I'm sure, several folks of the executive team and C-level staff - understanding who is buying their products. Whatever they lose by the MAGA crowd will be made up in increased cross-sell/upsell, and it also stimulates lapsed customers into becoming new customers, which is one of the more important KPIs for a marketing org, as new customers are much more likely to become repeat customers.

The processes the marketing team undertook (and continue to take) to get this launched successfully are large, complex, and risky. That the campaign comes across so elegantly simple is a credit to them.
AEB41452-727D-4C58-9F49-9B0A8C028DFA.png
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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I mean, I've seen a few reports of this move from UK newsrooms, too. I dont think that means Nike was trying to set themselves up for the UK basketball scene in 15 years.

Theres always been bidding wars for top end athletes to represent sports brands. Getting Kaep may help Nike with recruiting more of them. The end goal for every global enterprise is to get as much saturation in top markets as possible. I dont think the Kaep campaign is a break from that norm, it just happens to be a more visible one.
 

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I mean, I've seen a few reports of this move from UK newsrooms, too. I dont think that means Nike was trying to set themselves up for the UK basketball scene in 15 years.

Theres always been bidding wars for top end athletes to represent sports brands. Getting Kaep may help Nike with recruiting more of them. The end goal for every global enterprise is to get as much saturation in top markets as possible. I dont think the Kaep campaign is a break from that norm, it just happens to be a more visible one.
What I mean is, it is literally impossible to run this campaign without it also being in other countries.

So even if it is American market focused, the nature of this particular niche with this subject matter alters the way you would think about niche marketing—that’s not information you would ignore.

Also, you can use google news to see how a given Reuters or AP story is framed by websites in other countries that run them, which is a lot of fun if you’re a news dork.

45D4340A-3FDD-4D9E-BCBF-C0AB68DDA14B.jpeg

Even if it’s American focused, I don’t see any way Nike doesn’t factor in the inherent global reach... and at some point, the difference breaks down.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Oh, absolutely. I guess I didnt explain deep enough.

When I said, "While Corporate marketing was most certainly awareof/approved this campaign", the implication was that the American campaign had corporate (global) ramifications. This campaign wasnt approved without thorough review of the corporate team as well as (like I said previously) key executives from other departments as well.
 

Dehere

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The spot's good but to me it's not great. If you're going to take a pretty sizable risk by signing Kaep I think the creative needs to be a little more stirring, more of a call to unity. The creative doesn't really gain anything from Kaep's narration. You could have had Serena or MJ read the same copy to the same effect.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I mean, I've seen a few reports of this move from UK newsrooms, too. I dont think that means Nike was trying to set themselves up for the UK basketball scene in 15 years.

Theres always been bidding wars for top end athletes to represent sports brands. Getting Kaep may help Nike with recruiting more of them. The end goal for every global enterprise is to get as much saturation in top markets as possible. I dont think the Kaep campaign is a break from that norm, it just happens to be a more visible one.
Someone may have mentioned 15 years upthread but I feel this begins Sept 30th when those NBA sneaker deals that expire this year come due. Aside from this difference I don't disagree with much of your overall point...……


CNBC reporting the ad will run during the NFL opener.
Except the one about Nike caring about the NFL. No, I believe they are using Goodell to the highest degree here. They release this campaign the week before Week 1 and AFTER securing a 90-second slot on opening week. Nothing about the timing of this campaign signifies that they care about the NFL product as more and more will tune out.