There seems to be a bit of a disconnect between Nike’s branding and the sporting good giant’s political leanings.
What We Know:
- Colin Kaepernick is Nike’s $6 billion dollar man — Nike shares have surged 36 percent on the year, making the company the top performer on the Dow’s index of 30 blue-chip stocks. The run-up includes a nearly 5 percent increase since Nike’s Labor Day announcement that Kaepernick would be featured in its campaign, adding nearly $6 billion to the company’s market value.
- Nike has caught heat from right-leaning supporters for its decision to feature Colin Kaepernick in the company’s latest ad campaign, a new report from the Center for Responsive Politics — a non-profit, non-partisan research group focusing on money in politics — shows that Nike employees and its political action committee have donated more than three times as much money to republican candidates as democratic challengers for the 2018 election season.
- In total, Nike has given $424,000 to the GOP compared to $122,000 to Democrats. The findings follow a recent trend showing Nike has donated more to Republicans than Democrats in every election cycle since 2010 with the exception of 2016.
According to the report, nearly half of all donated funds from Nike employees has come from co-founder Phil Knight and his family.
Compared to its rival companies, Nike has donated far more to politicians than it’s competitors. Both Nike and New Balance have each given more than $1.2 million to Republican candidates since 2010, however Nike has also donated more than $900,000 to Democrats over that same time span. By comparison, Adidas and Under Armour have donated less than $600,000 combined to both parties since 2010.
I’m not here to draw conclusions — only to state facts. While I stand firm behind Colin Kaepernick, firm in my boycott of the NFL (and it’s painful) and support Nike in their efforts to support Kaep, I can’t help but follow the money and wonder…
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