In the world of marketing, rule #2 is undoubtedly; controversy sells.
If you can get people talking about you, good or bad, high or low, that’s attention. Attention is all these marketing directors are after. Attention can be molded, shaped, weaponized, or otherwise carved into something, anything that can be used to push a product.
That’s why Nike’s choice to partner with controversial, anthem-kneeling athlete Colin Kaepernick was a no-brainer. Not only would they get free advertising by annoying a wide swath of the nation, but Nike purists would be compelled to make purchases in order to signal both their virtue and their brand-loyalty. It’s anti-marketing 101, and it works….far too well.
Now, in a nod to just how blatant the sneaker manufacturer’s moral flippancy can be, the brand signed a deal to create NYPD merchandise – even after spokesman Colin Kaepernick wore “pig cop” socks in a now infamous photo set from an NFL practice.
The City of New York has struck a two-year deal with sportswear giant Nike to sell New York Police Department-branded items, even as Nike employs one of the nation’s most notorious cop-critics, Colin Kaepernick.
A city committee signed off on the deal which will return five percent of Nike’s sales of the NYC-branded items — such as the NYPD and FDNY logos — to New York’s tourism company, NYC & Company, according to the New York Post.
New York’s city hall claims that it will earn a guaranteed $20,000 a year from the NYPD merchandise.
Kaepernick also pushed the sportswear company to abandon plans for a sneaker featuring the Betsy Ross flag on the grounds that it was designed while slavery was occurring in the United States.
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