After taking an initial tumble, Nike stocks spiked days after the athletic gear giant's decision to drop an American flag-style shoe at the behest of anthem-kneeling former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, a major sponsor of the company.
"The company's shares closed at $86.82 on Friday, up from $84.53 on July 2. The boost came one day after the company pulled its Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July," Business Insider reported Monday, noting that shares "experienced an initial slide in the wake of the controversy, particularly after Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced he was withdrawing financial incentives for a Nike manufacturing plant to protest the company scrapping the design."
'The Betsy Ross Flag"-edition shoe was reportedly deemed “offensive” by Kaepernick, who scored a multi-million dollar sponsorship deal with Nike last year — an event that sparked its own wave of controversy at the time.
The patriotic shoe included a U.S. flag with 13 white stars in a circle on the heel of the sneaker, “a design created during the American Revolution and commonly referred to as the Betsy Ross flag,” reported The Wall Street Journal. Notably, the supposedly racist Betsy Ross flag was flown during the inauguration of former President Barack Obama.
Conservatives, however, have been vocal with their displeasure with the athletic gear company, calling for a #WalkAwayFromNike boycott.
“I love America. I stand for the anthem, respect the flag & honor the men & women who fought to defend our Nation,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) posted on Tuesday morning. “I respect Free Speech & I’m exerting mine: until [Nike] ends its contempt for those values, I WILL NO LONGER PURCHASE NIKE PRODUCTS. #WalkAwayFromNike [retweet] if you agree.”
Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced Tuesday that his state would be withdrawing financial incentives promised to Nike over the controversy.
“Nike has made its decision, and now we’re making ours,” Ducey said via Twitter. "I’ve ordered the Arizona Commerce Authority to withdraw all financial incentive dollars under their discretion that the State was providing for the company to locate here. Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike. We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history.”
As reported by The Daily Wire last year, Nike took an initial hit when the company promoted Kaepernick as the public face of its company:
Nike's shares dropped by nearly 4 percent, "the biggest intraday slide in five months," Bloomberg reports. "Nike shares slipped as much as 3.9 percent to $79 as of 9:31 a.m. Tuesday in New York — the biggest intraday slide in five months. They had climbed 31 percent this year through Friday’s close."
However, according to a CBS News report, the hyper-political left-wing movement from Nike is intentional — and paying off big-time. “Nike’s annual sales have jumped 7% to more than $39 billion, according to its last quarterly report. Its stock is up 12% since the start of the year, and Nike CEO Mark Parker has said the Kaepernick campaign inspired ‘record engagement with the brand,’ important for a company looking to bolster its direct-to-consumer business.”