Nike shares now higher than pre-Kaepernick ad level

Nike on Tuesday recovered the stock losses it experienced immediately after announcing its decision to feature polarizing NFL free agent Colin Kaepernick in a major marketing campaign.

The apparel giant’s shares rose about half a percentage point to close at $82.63. Nike’s stock had closed at $82.20 the day before it revealed Kaepernick’s role in a campaign to commemorate the 30th anniversary of its iconic “Just Do It” slogan.

Nike shares briefly fell below $80 last week as the advertising campaign drew a mixed reaction on social media. Kaepernick was the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality and social injustice, kicking off a wave of player demonstrations that roiled the league and infuriated President Donald Trump.

Trump ripped Nike for the decision on Twitter earlier this month, writing that the company was “getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts.” However, a report by Edison Trends noted that Nike’s online sales rose 31 percent in the two days after the announcement, which took place on Labor Day, up from 17 percent over the same period last year.

Nike aired its first commercial starring Kaepernick during various sporting events last week, including the first game of the 2018 NFL season. Nike is the NFL’s official uniform supplier.

Kaepernick hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since the 2016 season. He is currently suing the league for collusion, arguing that NFL teams are conspiring to keep him off the field.