Controversial Colin Kaepernick Ad Gives Nike 31% Sales Boost

While it may have prompted some pissed-off Facebook posts from your racist uncle, Nike's controversial decision to pursue an endorsement deal with famed kneeler Colin Kaepernick looks like it’s really starting to pay off.

An outside estimate of the sales between the Sunday through Thursday over the Labor Day holiday marked a 31% increase in sales over last year’s numbers, according to Time magazine.

The campaign, which debuted on Sept. 3, sparked serious backlash after featuring ads promoting the former San Fanscisco 49ers quarterback. Kaepernick became a major political figure after kneeling during the national anthem before a 2016 game, starting a trend in the sport that eventually drew fire from the president and contributed to his not returning to the NFL the past two seasons.

One ad, which features the words "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything," has led to an onslaught of photoshopped parodies on social media, which likely contributed to the campaign’s success in raising brand awareness.

There is little doubt that the campaign has alienated some customers, but if these numbers are any indication, it was a risk worth taking.


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