The reason business school professors teach (and don’t work in the industry)

  • Nike’s 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign, featuring Colin Kaepernick, was a stroke of brilliance, NYU’s Scott Galloway says.  The marketing professor says the sportswear giant took a calculated risk in choosing the polarizing Kaepernick.
  • Nike’s brand exposure on TV, radio, online and social media since first announcing the Kaepernick-led campaign is worth $163.5 million, according to Apex Marketing.
  • However Nike’s favorability took a massive hit after it made Colin Kaepernick the face of its new “Just Do It” campaign.
  • It remains to be seen if the campaign will translate into sales.

Business college professors love to sit on the sidelines and make snap judgements about marketing campaigns.  However, those of us who work in the “real world” understand that we are held accountable for campaigns we launch.  We often breathe, or die, by sales numbers not by what the business press thinks of marketing campaigns.

Nike generated over $163 million worth of free publicity via their new campaign to support Colin Kaepernick but how many of you reading this post are really going to rush out and buy a pair of Nike’s because of it?

Kaepernick is not a martyr or hero. He’s a guy that’s simply not good enough to be a starting NFL quarterback. It’s that simple. Sacrifice? He was being paid by Nike more money than if he was a backup QB in the NFL and has turned down a contract with the Bronco’s that could have paid him $6 million a year.

At a time when our country is being torn apart by divisive politics, was it really a good idea for a brand to launch a marketing campaign that further divides us?

Time will determine if Nike sells more products, but for now I believe they blew it big time. Sure, they generated a lot of buzz, but what the hell has that got to do with sales?