Nike year-over-year online sales climb amid Colin Kaepernick campaign, report finds

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Saturday, September 8, 2018
Nike releases new commercial narrated by Colin Kaepernick
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Nike has released a two minute commercial narrated by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Though Nike has faced heavy criticism and calls for boycotts for its ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, the company's online sales in the days following the campaign's release tell a different story, a new report found.

Compiled by market research firm Edison Trends, the report focused on online sales over the Labor Day holiday weekend. Edison noted that Nike's e-commerce sales historically slump on the Sunday morning of Labor Day weekend, and this year was no different.

But while sales rebounded by 17 percent between Sunday and Tuesday of Labor Day weekend in 2017, they grew by 31 percent during the same time period in 2018, according to Edison's research.

Nike unveiled its first ad featuring Kaepernick on Monday afternoon and followed up with a second ad on Wednesday.

Edison compiled its data based on "anonymized and aggregated e-receipts from more than 3 million consumers in the United States," the company noted.

The campaign unveiled by Nike and the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback was a trending topic on Twitter and other social networks, with some fans urging a boycott of the company's clothes and sneakers - even burning and cutting out the signature swoosh logos on their gear.

Others pushed back, saying the backlash against Nike showed the polarizing debate has morphed well beyond whether NFL players should be allowed to demonstrate for social causes while the national anthem plays in stadiums before games.

The league itself weighed in Tuesday afternoon with an executive saying the social issues Kaepernick has raised are valid.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.