In this episode, economist Tom Smith and I analyze Nike’s decision to feature Colin Kaepernick in its “Just Do It” campaign. This is a complicated and controversial issue with lots of moving pieces. It’s also a great topic because there are elements of branding, demographic trends and politics.
Is Nike pursuing the right branding strategy? Are they using Kaepernick to reposition the brand closer to Millennial and Generation Z sensibilities? Does growing the relationship with this segment make-up from alienating the segment that is currently burning shoes and cutting up socks?
Why has Nike waded into this perilous political territory? Are they doubling down and supporting the existing star who also happens to be in a feud with the current president? Can brands in the entertainment space be non-political in 2018?
It’s a wide ranging and fuzzy conversation. But it’s a fun subject. Multiple elements of fandom with a backdrop of politics.
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