Did the debut of Nike's Colin Kaepernick ad campaign on Labor Day 2018 have an impact on purchases?
Nike’s 2018 late summer sales show much the same trend as last year’s, with order volume decreasing slightly going into late August. The similarity decreases coming out of Labor Day Weekend, however, with sales seeing a bigger bump on Monday and Tuesday than in the past.
Following Nike’s Monday afternoon debut of the latest iteration of their “Just Do It” campaign, featuring Colin Kaepernick, fan discontent and boycott threats grabbed headlines - and even commentary from the President. But the research confirms that, at least for now, the company is suffering no negative repercussions in sales.
Both this year and last year, online sales of Nike products across the web hit a low point on Sunday of Labor Day weekend, rising again on Monday and Tuesday. But this year, they climbed 31% between Sunday and Tuesday, besting 2017’s 17%.
During the week, Nike continued to perform better than expected. While in 2017, online sales decreased 32% from Labor Day through the following Sunday, in 2018 they decreased just 10%. Between Monday, when the Colin Kaepernick ad campaign debuted, and Tuesday, sales increased 13%.
Looking at the 17 days following Labor Day 2018 and comparing it to the 17 days of August 14th - August 30th (chosen because it also starts on Tuesday and contains two weekends), average daily sales dropped 8% from the August period to the September period. In 2017, using comparable periods, the drop between August and September was 10%. So while sales fell from August into September both years, 2018's sales didn't drop quite as much as the previous year's.
Sales spiked on the 14th, with an increase of 118% over the day before. In 2017 there was a similar spike, with an increase of 54%. While Edison Trends cannot cite a specific cause for the growth, it may be worth noting that on September 14th, Nike's Jordan Brand x Paris Saint-Germain co-branded collection of shoes was released, and last year on September 15th, Nike unveiled a series of new jerseys in partnership with the NBA.
Figures 1a and 1b. "1x" means "1x the number of Nike product orders sold on August 1, 2017." Data collected from receipts from over 200 online vendors, using "Nike" as a search term.