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Nike shares fall on worries over Kaepernick sales hit

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been chosen as the face of Nike's new "Just Do It" campaign to mark the 30th anniversary of the iconic slogan
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been chosen as the face of Nike's new "Just Do It" campaign to mark the 30th anniversary of the iconic slogan GETTY/AFP/File
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New York (AFP)

Shares of Nike tumbled early Tuesday on worries the sport goods giant's new marketing campaign around Colin Kaepernick could harm sales.

Dow member Nike fell 2.9 percent to $79.78 in mid-morning trading, the first session following news that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Kaepernick would be featured in Nike's campaign to mark the 30th anniversary of the "Just Do It" slogan.

Kaepernick, who triggered a political firestorm after kneeling during the US national anthem in 2016 to protest racial injustice, has not played in the NFL since early last year.

But his cause was taken up by other NFL players last season, who launched protests that have been repeatedly slammed by US President Donald Trump.

Nike's move prompted immediate calls for boycotts from some consumers.

"While it is noble to take a stand on something, it is also commercially imprudent to dash headlong into a very sensitive issue which polarizes opinion," said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail.

"Although the company's stand may go down well on its native West Coast, it will be far less welcome in many other locations."

But other analysts said the ads could boost Nike's standing with core consumers, including minorities and millennials.

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