Over the Labor Day weekend, some people chose to exercise their right as Americans to burn their shoes.
They uploaded videos and images of themselves destroying their own Nike products to protest Nike's new ad campaign, which features the face of ex-NFL star Colin Kaepernick and the caption “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
The ad references Kaepernick’s choice to kneel during the pregame national anthem in protest of police treatment of minorities — a protest that's caught on among some players but that most Americans, according to multiple polls, don’t approve of. So why would a company as big as Nike want to sacrifice a big chunk of their customer base for politics?
In short, because it’s not politics. It’s business. And Nike is gambling that the people who are angry about the ad won’t affect their bottom line very much.
“If people want to hold onto this as a reason to never buy Nike again, I think Nike is very OK with losing those people as customers,” says Ian Schafer, founder and former CEO of Deep Focus, which has worked with Nike in the past. To find out why, VICE News took a look at why Nike is betting on black.