Now we're in the wake of the aftermath. Many burnt socks, shoes, and even people's actual feet later, Nike's stock value has taken a bit of a hit. An international conversation has started, where global brands based in America are having to distance themselves from the international embarrassment that is Trump. I believe it's fair to say that outside of Russia, and the more fascistic leaning states Trump is usually depicted as bumbling and oafish at the politest end of the spectrum. But this is Nike in its home ground, drawing a big line in the sand, and I mean, a huge line. The United States is probably the most fragmented it has been in quite some time with angry reactionary rhetoric being the call of the day. For a brand to publicly align themselves with a political leaning in this climate is to essentially slice out 50% of your audience. It's a bold play.

Nike, even with their problematic relationship with child labour laws and dodgy third world production of their products, has championed and advocated around a lot of prescient social issues. Usually in a successful and empowering manner. They're a "cool" brand, and looking at their market value compared to the other big sportswear brands like Addidas, Puma, New Balance and the like they are very much dominating the market.

Politics and commerce are messy when you play them against each other but as we come up to the Mid-term elections in the US the timing could not be more perfect for tapping into a growing sentiment of living up to the values that you propose to live by. The "Just Do It" ideology and iconography, gives a new twist on the old adage of self-improvement through physical exercise and adds in the concept of self-improvement through political or social action. A brand connecting itself with this sentimentality has backfired, HARD, in the past with Kendell Jenner's infamous Pepsi ad.

It's a calculated move that seems to be paying off because the risk in this instance seems to be as large as the potential reward. Not being as universally popular back home may not mean as much when you're a global player. New Zealand's political climate is nowhere near the circus sideshow that the US continues to be, but social issues have just as much importance particularly in the millennial and Gen Z markets. Could your brand sustain itself while so visibly aligning itself politically?

Also, Nike, nice move, maybe now would also be a great time for ethical product development?