Survey: Just Do It Campaign Deflates Nike Image

Nike's Just Do It ad campaign featuring former San Francisco 49rs quarterback Colin Kaepernick appears to be affecting the company's image, bottom line, and potentially NFL viewership.

That is according to a new poll by Morning Consult, which surveyed 8,000 adults.

Before the Sept. 4 announcement of Kaepernick as the face of the campaign, Nike's favorability rating was a net plus-69 (76% favorable, 7% unfavorable). After the announcement, those numbers were plus-36 (60% favorable, 24% unfavorable).

Related: Nike to Air Kaepernick Ad in NFL Opener

The unfavorables skew older, with Boomers plus-68 favorable before, plus-20 after. Gen Z (18-21) dropped by 30 points, from plus-81 to plus 51. But those favorable numbers dropped among all categories, Republicans and Democrats, all demos and among both blacks and whites, though the racial divide was striking. Among whites, favorability dropped from 67 to 27, while for blacks that was only from 82 to 74. 

As for the pocketbook, before the announcement, about half of the respondents said they were certain or very likely to buy a Nike product, but only 39% after.

As to NFL viewership, the Nike ad is scheduled to run in the NFL opener Thursday night (Sept. 6), the impact appears to be slightly more negative than positive. According to Morning Consult, 20% said the announcement would make them much less likely to watch and 6% somewhat less likely to watch, while only 12% said they would be much more likely to watch and 9% somewhat more likely to watch.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.