Nike Immune From Conservative Backlash Despite Long History Of Woke Advocacy
A Nike corporate logo hangs on a wall outside their store at the Toronto Premium Outlets shopping mall on July 1, 2022, in Halton Hills, Ontario.
Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

While Bud Light and Target have experienced significant backlash in response to their promotion of transgenderism, sneaker giant Nike, which has its own deal with Dylan Mulvaney, has thrived for years while pushing far-left beliefs on gender and race. 

Bud Light’s sales have plummeted following its partnership with Mulvaney, the transgender-identified social media influencer. The boycott that followed Bud Light’s promotion of transgenderism has cost its parent company, Anheuser Busch, a whopping $27 billion loss in market value.

“We believe there is a subset of American consumers who will not drink a Bud Light for the foreseeable future,” said Jared Dinges, a beverage analyst at JPMorgan Chase.

Target was similarly punished by consumers after it used the work of an artist who uses Satanic imagery in the company’s Pride Month collection. Target’s pride collection also included “tuck-friendly” female swimwear. The retail giant has since lost $6 billion in market share, as would-be customers shun the corporation over their commitment to woke causes. 

But Nike’s stock market fluctuations do not appear to be tied to its years of advancing woke causes. Its embrace of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick after his controversial 2016 decision to kneel for the national anthem to protest alleged police brutality set off a long run of profitability that culminated in shares hitting a five-year high of $177 per share in 2021. And while the stock price has declined since then, analysts have not blamed it on the Beaverton, Oregon, company’s progressive stances.

Nike’s market capitalization has risen from about $30 billion in 2010 to its current $165 billion.

Nike recently struck a deal of its own with Mulvaney to advertise a sports bra and leggings. The Daily Wire recently reported on a leaked email from Nike, revealing that the multi-billion-dollar corporation plans to celebrate pride month by hosting a panel discussion with a surgeon who performs sex change operations on adolescents. Nike will also host a “family-friendly” drag story hour event and unveil “gender-inclusive” apparel for children.

Nike also sponsored a “queer youth field day” for children as young as 13 in Memphis and even teamed up with the Burbank YMCA and an OnlyFans creator to teach children about voguing, a style of dance popular among those who identify as LGBT. The “Intro to Vogue” class was held by a performer who goes by “Honey Balenciaga.” It was open to children in middle school. 

Nike not only provided attendees with transportation to the event, but even incentivized attendance by giving away free pairs of shoes.

A site called “Marketing the Rainbow,” which tracks corporations’ support for the LGBT movement, documented Nike’s promotion of transgenderism dating back to at least 2016.

It’s not that Nike has been immune from criticism for its stances. It was roundly ripped for renewing Kaepernick’s endorsement deal in 2018 and making him the face of the “Just Do It” ad campaign two years after he knelt for the anthem. A year later, the company dropped its Betsy Ross American flag sneakers after Kaepernick criticized the design, sparking backlash from prominent conservatives, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and former Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey.

“Nike’s sales have only grown since it seized attention with its ad campaign featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick,” The Chicago Tribune wrote at the time.

Matt Powell, a sports industry analyst for the NPD Group, told The New York Times that Nike’s partnership with Kaepernick was a winner with customers even if it was a dud with conservatives.

“Pretty much every metric you can look at was positive for Nike — their social media mentions went up, their sales rose the week after, and they won a bunch of awards for the ad campaign,” he said. “They are clearly aligned with their core customer base.”

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