Contrary to President Donald Trump's claim that Nike would get "killed" by its decision to sign an endorsement deal with former NFL player Colin Kaepernick, the sportswear giant appears to be thriving.
As CBS News reported Friday, Nike's market value has surged by nearly $6 billion (AUD$8 billion) since the company unveiled Kaepernick ― who sparked controversy as the instigator of protests by NFL players against racism and police brutality ― as the star of a provocative ad campaign.
The campaign was immediately controversial and Nike's stock initially tumbled more than 3 percent. Some customers burned Nike shoes and other gear and announced boycotts of the brand. Trump, who has harshly criticized Kaepernick and other athletes for taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem as a gesture of protest, lambasted the ad campaign as sending a "terrible message"
"Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts," the president tweeted in the days after the ad's launch.
Nike's share prices were quick to rebound from that initial dip, however, and in recent weeks have been performing near an "an all-time high," CBS said.
The company has sold out 61 percent more merchandise since releasing its Kaepernick ad, Reuters reported last week. Nike also discounted fewer products in the 10-day period after the ad compared to the 10-day period before its release.
"[Nike's] new 'Just Do It' ad campaign with Colin Kaepernick was a stroke of genius," said Camilo Lyon, an analyst with financial services company Canaccord Genuity, according to Reuters. "This premeditated move was another subtle but significant sign of Nike's strength and confidence in its position in the marketplace."