Nike's decision to put Colin Kaepernick at the center of its latest "Just Do It" ad campaign did not come without scrutiny, drawing criticism from President Donald Trump and prompting fans to burn their merchandise in protest.
But from a sales perspective, the company came out of the week a winner, according to one study. Research conducted by Edison Trends revealed that Nike's online sales surged 31% from Sunday through Tuesday. Nike ran its first ad featuring Kaepernick on Monday.
“There was speculation that the Nike/Kaepernick campaign would lead to a drop in sales, but our data over the last week does not support that theory,” Edison Trends co-founder Hetal Pandya said in a statement issued by the digital commerce company.
Edison Trends' analysis was based on "anonymised and aggregated e-receipts from more than 3 million consumers."
Nike had not responded to a USA TODAY Sports message on Saturday afternoon.
Nike's stock initially dropped after the ad but has since steadied, according to MarketWatch. It was up 1% on Friday. Apex Marketing Group estimated that the Kaepernick ad had a $163 million payoff in media exposure.
Nike ran a separate ad, a commercial that featured other prominent athletes and was narrated by Kaepernick, during Thursday night's first NFL game of the 2018 season between the Eagles and Falcons.
Kaepernick, a free agent, was the first player to kneel during the national anthem before an NFL game as a peaceful protest against social injustice and police brutality. He hasn't been with an NFL team since 2016.