Nike's controversial Kaepernick ad has millennials snapping up shares

Getty/Pablo Cuadra

  • Nike sank more than 2% following the release of its newest “Just Do It” ad starring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
  • The ad prompted swift reaction on Twitter, from both supporters and those who say Kaepernick’s protests during the national anthem are disrespectful.
  • On Robinhood, investors were piling into the stock at a rate of three times more than usual.
  • Watch Nike trade in real time here.

News that Nike had chosen Colin Kaepernick, the polarising leader of NFL protests during the national anthem, as the 30th anniversary face of its “Just Do It” advertising campaign sent shares down more than 3% on Tuesday.

But while many investors were shedding the stock, traders on Robinhood were doing the exact opposite, the no-fee brokerage told Business Insider.

“Today, investors on Robinhood are buying Nike stock 300% more than they are selling, compared to 12% last week,” Sahill Poddar, the app’s data scientist, said Tuesday. “Investors in Oregon, where Nike is headquartered, are buying the stock 850% more than they are selling.”

Nike is currently the 52nd most-popular stock on the brokerage, and has seen its holdings skyrocket thanks to the campaign. Twenty-two thousand investors currently hold the stock on the app, Robinhood’s website shows, up 18% from less than a week ago, according to Business Insider’s tracking of the data.

Robinhood users tend to skew much younger than traditional brokerages, and as Business Insider’s Josh Barro points out, it’s clear that Nike has decided to double down on this under-35 demographic as it seeks to reinvent itself.

“Companies are maximizing profits as they always did, but they’re responding to incentives that have shifted to encourage political participation by brands,” Barro wrote.

“As more consumers come to expect brands to reflect their moral and political values, a brand that takes a side on a controversial issue can strengthen its bond with a consumer segment, making them willing to buy more or to buy at a higher price.”

Shares of Nike are up 50.6% this year.

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.