Nike stocks closed at $83.47 Thursday for the first time ever just eight days after President Donald Trump declared that the company was “getting absolutely killed” because of “anger and boycotts” over its ad campaign. On Friday, shares closed in regular trading at $83.49, although the stock price slipped a bit in after-hours trading.
— Bloomberg Markets (@markets) September 13, 2018
The ad honors the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and the movement he launched by taking a knee during the national anthem before NFL games to protest racial injustice.
“Well I mean I guess WE’RE on [fire],” gushed James, adding the hashtag ”#JokesOnYou.” James, who has signed a lifelong contract with Nike, also appears in the ad campaign.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 14, 2018
Nike’s online sales also jumped nearly a third as the ad was launched.
Trump has long railed at the athletes and the National Football League, calling on owners to fire players who don’t stand for the anthem. (In a CNBC interview Thursday, new Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper called attacks on “patriotic” protesting players the “biggest pile of bull-dinky.”)
Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts. I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way? As far as the NFL is concerned, I just find it hard to watch, and always will, until they stand for the FLAG!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018
Trump is also not a fan of James. The president denigrated the intelligence of the Lakers star and CNN host Don Lemon, who interviewed James last month, in a tweet that triggered outcries of racism against Trump. Lemon accused the president of “trafficking in racism.”
Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2018
Kaepernick celebrated the Nike news by retweeting a Complex video about the sportswear company’s rising fortunes.
Nike is only going up. ? pic.twitter.com/xSnN8GceDc
— Complex (@Complex) September 14, 2018
James’ Twitter followers loved his tweet.
— Oppositionista (@BlueWaveYes) September 14, 2018
— alkn (@alkarakasn) September 14, 2018
My brand new Nikes!!!! pic.twitter.com/cgTpn0Fm6J
— Jean Meyer (@jamatlarge28) September 14, 2018
LeBron got some other good news Friday. NBC is buying “Hoops,” a TV series about a female college basketball coach co-produced by James, Deadline reported.