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Nike's Kaepernick ad drove away some customers but galvanized others

Key Points
  • Nike's recent advertising campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick caused overall public support to drop but galvanized the company's core customer base, ESPN reported.
  • While 21 percent of respondents said that they would stop buying Nike, 29 percent of young males in Nike's target demographic said that they would purchase even more Nike products in the future.
  • Shares of Nike have recouped their losses after selling off last week following the release of the advertisement.
A Nike Ad featuring American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick is on diplay September 8, 2018 in New York City.
Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

Nike's recent advertising campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick caused overall public support to drop but galvanized the company's core customer base, ESPN reported.

In a new Harris Poll taken last week that surveyed 2,026 Americans, 17 percent of respondents viewed Nike in a negative light. By contrast, in a December 2017 poll "virtually no one" had a negative opinion of the company, according to the report.

The poll also showed that 21 percent of respondents said that they would stop buying Nike. Of those that said they wouldn't wear Nike again, five percent reported that they tore the Nike logo off of their clothing.

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However, 29 percent of young males in Nike's target demographic said that they would purchase even more Nike products in the future. Nineteen percent of respondents overall said the same.

"Nike took a strategic risk to alienate some customers in order to appeal to their core base of 18- to 29-year old males," said Harris Poll CEO John Gerzema.

Shares of Nike close up 0.45 percent on Wednesday, recouping their losses after selling off last week following the release of the advertisement.

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