Nike and Kaepernick

I wonder if the Nike and Kaepernick situation was a set up to get Nike publicity. Thus, Nike knew from the first that they weren’t going to actually sell the Betsy Ross shoes and had preplanned it with Kaepernick. Radio talk show host  John Batchelor frequently says that his main problem is that he’s not cynical enough. Am I being too cynical?


Author: Richard Easton

Co-author of GPS Declassified: From Smart Bombs to Smartphones.

9 thoughts on “Nike and Kaepernick”

  1. I’d be surprised if that were true; bad publicity, no?  As MJ always said, both Republicans and Democrats buy his shoes.

    Also, if that shoe had already been put into production, this would have been an awfully expensive publicity stunt.

    Additional thought: The real mystery here is why they gave Kaepernick an endorsement deal in the first place. Why annoy a substantial portion of your customer base? I wear Nike sneakers!

  2. Why annoy half of your customer base?  Because progressives are Progressive first, and everything else later, even businessmen.  They do not think, they feel, and most of what they do is motivated by feelings.  Someone might be offended by what you do?  Apologize, and immediately quit what you were doing, whatever it was.  Your actions are solely determined by what your customers feel.

  3. Oh Lord, I just read that the Betsy Ross shoes that did make it to stores are now retailing for $2500.

    I think Richard is right but maybe for a different reason; every consumer wants what they can’t have. The old supply and demand theory may be at work here.

    The most extreme example of this is the infamous Hermes Birkin handbag that retails for up to $26k and has a wait list in all major upscale stores.

  4. What we don’t know is how many pairs they made. If it’s a thousand, then this was planned. If it’s a hundred thousand, then it probably happened the way Nike said it did.

  5. I doubt there was an upper-case Conspiracy, with a conference call planning the release, the protest, etc.

    But I don’t doubt there was a conspiracy of like minds, and Kaepernik knew that if he raised a fuss then the like-minded thinkers at Nike would immediately give in.

    And Nike knows how to milk any controversy:

    “What I’m beginning to learn about Nike,” Kevin O’Leary of Shark Tank fame told TMZ, “they know how to take controversy and blow it up into advertising.”

  6. I would guess that Nike sent a forecast to their Asian suppliers, not a purchase order. When they changed the forecast, the supplier simply pumped the shoes into the gray market. I bet they are in street vendors all over Asia

    Just a guess.

  7. I don’t wear Nike shoes–haven’t been a fan since about 8th grade (197…8?).  But I used to wear their workout gear and running shorts.

    Not anymore.  They’re not getting another dollar from me, ever; don’t care if the story is straight up or a stunt.

    Now, as a former Infantry-turned-SF guy, I feel compelled to say (and don’t make a penny for it) if you want some quality hiking or walking or running shoes, go with either Merrill or Salomon.  I wear them for work, working out, and hanging out (different versions) and have yet to be disappointed.  Well, when I’m not wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are big in Key Largo.


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