As the saying goes, all publicity is good publicity, and that’s never been more true for Nike. After the company unveiled its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign, featuring Colin Kaepernick, people have vocalized their support or disdain for the move. The controversy surrounding the ad wound up generating more than $43 million in media exposure for the company in just 24 hours.
According to the Apex Marketing Group, Nike’s announcement of the ad generated $19.01 million in positive media exposure, $10.91 million in negative exposure and $13.76 million in neutral, Bloomberg reported.
Although some of the exposure was negative, the brand was still being advertised. For every person who filmed themselves cutting up a pair of Nike socks that they already purchased, a free ad featuring the Nike logo was created.
While Kaepernick’s football career suffered after he first took a knee during the playing of the national anthem at games in 2016, marketing professionals do not think his campaign is bad for business.
Bob Dorfman, a sports marketing executive at Baker Street Advertising, told Bloomberg that Nike did not take any financial risk making Kaepernick the face of the campaign.
“It’s not a move that any company can make, but for Nike it’s definitely smart business,” Dorfman told Bloomberg.
Former CIA Director John Brennan was among the people who praised Kaepernick on Monday after the ad campaign kicked off, saying the athlete gave meaning to the Constitution by taking a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.
Nike signed Kaepernick to an endorsement deal in 2011 and has maintained that contract since then, ESPN reported.