While Washington burns over the anonymous op-ed and Day 3 of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, middle America has been consumed by the return of the NFL's culture war.
The big picture: Nike's embrace of Colin Kaepernick has created massive earned media pickup and brand lift, and alienated major chunks of America by promoting the former quarterback's National Anthem protests against police brutality.
By the numbers:
- Nike’s brand favorability has dropped 34 points from a net +69 favorable impression among consumers to a net +35 favorable impression, according to a new poll from Morning Consult, Axios' Sara Fischer notes.
- Though Nike shares initially dropped on the news, the stock has since regained about half of its losses.
- Nike has picked up $163+ million in earned media from the campaign, Bloomberg reports.
- About 40% of that exposure was positive, with negative and neutral evenly splitting the remainder.
The bottom line: This is the age of polarized brands and corporations, with both internal and external pressures for companies to take controversial political positions.
Be smart... Nike's simple bet is that the people mad about its decision aren't its customers anyway, while those pleased will become even more loyal.
P.S. NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young told Axios today that the NFL has botched its response to the anthem protests.