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Nike stocks the best ever despite controversy

Photo credit:
Nike via Colin Kaepernick -Facebook

Despite a national boycott initiated by people who disagreed with making NFL player Colin Kaepernick the face of Nike, the company's shares reached an all-time high this past Friday. 

Their stock was already up by 2 percent before the controversial campaign began. CBS News reports that Nike sales almost doubled over this same time last year; up 31 percent from Sept. 2-4.

Making the quarterback the face of the brand to celebrate 30 years of the "Just Do It" campaign was a risk, but one that paid off, partly because their buyers are mostly young Americans.

ABC News reports that 44 percent of people between 18 and 34 were supportive of the sports figure being used in the campaign while 32 percent were in opposition. 

Those between the ages of 35 to 44 were also on board with Kaepernick: 52 percent in favor, 37 percent opposed. 

Beyond that, poll takers over the age of 65 were less amicable toward the campaign only getting 26 percent of the "yes" vote. 

However, Nike's customer base does is aged 35 or younger, according to Matt Powell, a sports retail analyst at market research firm NPD Group.

Kaepernick became more than just a sports figure when he protested racism and police brutality by kneeling for the National Anthem in the 2016 season.

On Sept. 3, 2018, he tweeted out a photo of his "Just Do It" ad. "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything," he said.

The ad did not sit well with people who thought his "taking a knee" protest was disrespectful. President Trump was one of the biggest detractors, "If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem," he tweeted. "If not, YOU'RE FIRED. Find something else to do!"

Others took it a bit further and began burning Nike products in a social media blitz. But the boycott apparently had no effect on the sports giant's sales.

The poll also shows a sharp split along age, class and racial lines on Nike's ad campaign.

"A plurality of poll respondents, 41 percent, opposed the company's choice of Kaepernick, while 37 percent supported the move. The rest were unsure," reports ABC 10

The poll shows that African-Americans and college-educated Americans supported the ad by 68 percent, 16 percent were against it.