Nike sales spiked by 31 percent since the company debuted its controversial “Just Do it” campaign last week featuring Colin Kaepernick as the company’s new spokesperson, NBC News reported.
Last week the company caused a stir when it revealed an ad featuring an image of Kaepernick and the message “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
The former San Francisco 49er caused a commotion on social after sharing the ad to Twitter, but the controversy did not stop there.
Nike aired an accompanying commercial that featured Kaepernick during the broadcast of Thursday night’s official NFL opener on NBC.
Critics have since called for a Nike boycott, with President Donald Trump at the helm of the movement.
“Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts,” Trump tweeted. “I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way? As far as the NFL is concerned, I just find it hard to watch, and always will, until they stand for the FLAG!”
However, market observers said the public outrage may have drawn more attention to Nike and boosted its sales.
“Controversial endorsements tend to generate a lot of hype,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst of market research firm The NPD Group, according to NBC News. “These kinds of statements and brand partnerships make for a big impact on brand selling.”
Online sales of Nike products increased by 31 percent following the release of the campaign, which is nearly double the 17 percent increase over the same time period last year.
“Consumers who are most likely to shop online, and shop athletic apparel and footwear, are very much in tune with the movement and the willingness for a mega-brand to stand up against the establishment,” Cohen pointed out.
Hetal Pandya, co-founder of Edison Trends added that Nike focused on younger generations and expanding its market, and “this ad did that for them.”