When Taking A Stand (Or A Knee) Causes Ructions
'Audaces fortuna iuvat' Ya wha Gay?
Fortune favours the brave'.
An expression handed down since Roman times.
Does it ring through in real life?
It's a valid question in light of the unveiling of Nike's latest advertising campaign.
There was a time when the likes of Benetton used to generate controversy by using provocative images in their campaigns.
Apparantly it can generate 'valuable' news coverage and seemingly that equates to some input into brand equity!
It will take some time for the dust to settle and Nike's latest campaign to be evaluated.
Nike shares fell after the reveal of the campaign for the 30th anniversary of "Just Do It," featuring former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, pulled a wave of responses, both for and against the marketing materials, on social media.
The stock closed the day down roughly 3.2 percent, as #NikeBoycott was trending on Twitter.
Here's a flavour
Critics have burned Nike trainers and clothing in protest at Kaepernick's appointment as the face of the brand's new advertising campaign.
The American football quarterback, protested against racial injustice and police brutality by kneeling during the US national anthem.
In announcing the deal, Nike said he was "one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation".
But opponents took to social media, promising to destroy Nike products.
On Twitter, they hit out at the deal using the hashtag #JustBurnIt - which trended alongside #BoycottNike.
US President Donald Trump, who has been strongly critical of the protest movement Kaepernick sparked, said: "I think as far as sending a message, I think it's a terrible message and a message that shouldn't be sent."
Interestingly the NFL said it "embraces the role and responsibility of everyone involved with this game to promote meaningful, positive change in our communities".
A statement added: "The social justice issues that Colin and other professional athletes have raised deserve our attention and action."
How will this campaign be judged a success?
It's an amazing societal division that the sports star has highlighted,
However, there has been an outpouring of support for ostracised former San Francisco 49ers player who first protested by sitting during the national anthem in August 2016, later opting to kneel.
Other players followed suit, leading to criticism from President Donald Trump.
Kaepernick, who has received Amnesty International's highest honour, has been without a team since he opted out of his contract with the 49ers in March 2017.
So the moral of the story?
Make a stand. But be prepared for the backlash.