It’s 2018 and the tides are changing once more. We can check our history books and speak to our elders for proof that when injustices are brought to the horizon, eventually, you have to pick a side. In some cases, there is a very define line between the right side, and the completely wrong side. While in others, it is not.
Let’s take a look back at a moment that will certainly go down in history…
It’s the 2016 NFL season and Colin Kaepernick begins to take a knee during the national anthem to bring awareness to police brutality and the injustices that people of color face on a daily basis. (Fun fact, he first started sitting during the anthem but was told by a U.S. Veteran that kneeling was more appropriate. I also want to note that Kaepernick is not the first athlete to make a “political stance” but for the sake of my point, we’re going to focus on him.)
I’m sure at this point you’re wondering, “why is this your tip of the month and what does this have to do with my business?”
I’m glad you’ve asked…
Yesterday, it was announced that Colin Kaepernick alongside Serena Williams, Odell Beckham Jr., and Shaquem Griffin, are the faces of Nike’s 30th Anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. The internet was clearly divided on this and some even threatened to boycott the brand. While others, including myself, applauded them.
Nike has clearly taken a stance on how they feel about Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the anthem. This “decision” has even sparked a statement from the president who has made it clear he is not a fan of Kaepernick or any other athlete who decides to kneel during the anthem.
So what does this mean for Nike?
They have made a very bold move that essentially has divided their customer base. Do I believe they will take a loss? No. Do I believe that they TRULY are riding for Kaepernick? I don’t know.
One thing we can probably agree on, is that they did their did research, pulled numbers, and came to an informed decision where they understand the pros and cons about how this could impact their market share. We can conclude that overall, this was a good business move for the brand that majority of leadership has agreed on.
What does this mean for small businesses?
I’m not saying that you need to shout from the rooftop your political views. However, I am telling you to pick a side.
If someone is wearing your brand and posts a video of themselves kneeling during the anthem, how would you feel? Or what if they were protesting a Planned Parenthood? Or what if they were arrested for a hate crime?
It may sound outrageous to think of all of these scenarios. But let’s remind ourselves what happened to Pepsi and Dove. A small “mishap” could truly become a bad press day for your company.
Why do you need to pick a side?
You shouldn’t need to think too long and hard about what you would do if any of those scenarios were to occur. I know we all want to keep politics a secret and out of business and sports alike, but the reality is, we cannot. You should have a clear understanding of your personal values.
Our customers truly WANT to support businesses that care about them. If you want to play it safe and down the middle then please, be my guest. But you may be involved in a scenario where you will be forced to pick a side and I hope you are ready to do so with pride.
As for me, I’ve chosen a side.
TJE Communications and it’s subsidiaries has not and will never tolerate discrimination or disrespect of any kind amongst its event attendees or clients. TJE Communications also will never support or work with those who believe in the discrimination of others.
I challenge you all to make a list of all of the things you value, and find ways to incorporate it into your business model. If you need help, you know where to find me!
Have a question that needs an answer, email firstname.lastname@example.org.