Sep 6, 2018

Axios PM

Situational awareness: "Tens of thousands of employees at more than 18,000 U.S. hotels will soon carry panic buttons to help protect them from harassment and assault," the AP reports.

  • "More than a dozen big hotel chains — including Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG and Wyndham ... will provide personal safety devices by 2020 to all employees who deal one-on-one with guests."

Breaking: "(AP) - Twitter is permanently banning conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and Infowars for abusive behavior."

1 big thing: Nike's simple bet on Kaepernick

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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.

RIP Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds in 2005. Photo: Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Acting star Burt Reynolds is dead at 82. Read his N.Y. Times obituary.

2. What you missed
  1. The White House has launched a massive "whodunnit" search to identify the anonymous senior official behind the scathing NYT op-ed. A slew of top officials are denying authorship. The list.
  2. The U.S. issued a joint statement with allied countries supporting the U.K.'s assessment that officers from the Russian military intelligence service were behind the poisoning of Sergei Skripal. Details.
  3. Sen. Cory Booker claimed he broke committee rules by publishing "confidential" Kavanaugh documents. But the lawyer handling the documents says his team cleared the files for release last night. What they're saying.
  4. President Trump had an impromptu meeting at the White House yesterday, during which he discussed potential commutations for two Kardashian-backed prisoners. Behind-the-scenes.
  5. Eight Roman Catholic diocese in New York have been subpoenaed by the state's Attorney General in the wake of a Pennsylvania grand jury report that found rampant sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Go deeper.
  6. CBS' board is reportedly in talks to replace CEO Les Moonves, who is facing allegations of sexual harassment. More.
3. 1 fun thing

Starbucks has made its way to Italy, opening a "Reserve Roastery" in Milan, which is famous for its coffee bars and cafes, the AP reports.

  • "The company has more than 28,000 stores worldwide, but the palatial Milan location is only its third roastery. The others are in Seattle, where the company is headquartered, and Shanghai."
  • "I’ve tasted Starbucks coffee and I’ll absolutely stick to Italian coffee,'" said Milan resident Giulia Brighenti as she scraped the foamy remains of her espresso at a coffee bar not far from Starbucks’ new Reserve Roastery."