Outrage for Profit – NIKE Pulls “Betsy Ross” Sneaker…


Is it possible to manufacture outrage as a profit strategy? Yes.  Brand imagery is part of the overall business model for any business. Begin with an ideological executive office; consider a manufacturing model dependent on a China/Asia supply chain; add a dose of political calculations into the mix; turn loose the actuaries and a unified CFO and CEO could easily find a way to turn market grievance into profit.

I’m not saying that NIKE is manipulating their market price.  However, I am saying if they were to consider their brand scale to enhance financial results, and buying back shares of their own stock to be timed with coordinatedmedia events, you could see a benefit behind the controversy.

It just strikes as too coincidental the latest NIKE “issue” happens at the beginning of a new financial quarter.  Nah, probably nothing.

(Via CNBCNike is pulling sneakers featuring an early American flag after former NFL football player Colin Kaepernick told the company it shouldn’t sell a shoe that he and others consider offensive, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday evening, citing people familiar with the matter.

Nike shares were falling less than 1% in premarket trading Tuesday following the news. Shares had closed Monday up nearly 2% and have rallied 15% this year, bringing the retailer’s market cap to about $134.2 billion.

Kaepernick reportedly contacted Nike officials saying he and others felt the “Betsy Ross” flag — featuring 13 stars in a circle — featured on the shoes was linked to a period of slavery. The Betsy Ross flag is one type that was flown during the American Revolution. And the shoes were set to be released in celebration of the July Fourth holiday.  (read more)

“And Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said that he will now order the state’s commerce authority to withdraw all financial incentive dollars for Nike to locate in the state because of the shoes being pulled. The move was expected to bring about 500 jobs to the area.”

Well, that makes a convenient reason for NIKE to keep manufacturing in Asia, and avoid any issues with those who might take exception.  I mean if U.S. states are opposed to the brand ideology and refuse to work with the company for U.S. jobs, well, NIKE Inc has few options right?

Having followed politics, economic and multinational corporate interests related to politics and U.S. policy, something about these NIKE moves just doesn’t pass the proverbial sniff test.

The purpose of hiring Colin Kaepernick as the multi-million face of the brand was not accidental.  The entire executive suite would be involved in the original decision and launch of the “face of Nike”.  The social justice executives made a purposeful decision to leverage political controversy as part of their brand image and business model.

Therefore wouldn’t the ever-concerned marketing department have already gone through the process of social justice evaluation for the design?  Weird.

It’s almost as if Nike would purchase hundreds of millions worth of their own shares (they did), then inject a purposeful product (they did), then wait for Q3 (they did), and time/trigger the face of their social justice brand, Kaepernick, to stand and shout (he did)… then sit back and reap financial rewards.

A bonus for Kaepernick?

Suspicious cat is suspicious.

A little more research might help…. stay tuned.

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