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NIKE FACE BACKLASH AFTER ‘HONOURING’ WORLD CUP CHAMPIONS IN NEW AD

Sportswear giant Nike has released a Twitter ad honouring the US Women’s soccer team for their victory over the Netherlands in the World Cup Final last Sunday.

The minute-long video is based on a narrator reading the popular American sports chant “I believe we will win” overlaid with greyscale stills from the tournament. The ad then finishes with the line “This team wins. Everyone wins.” on a black background – an undoubted call for unity in a thoroughly divided nation.

With almost 100,000 retweets and 300,000 likes, the ad was generally well-received in terms of social metrics, but these don’t tell the full story. Many of the top replies criticise the company, with topics ranging from the Colin Kaepernick scandal last year, to its continued reliance on sweatshops, and its reluctance to offer female employees equal pay.

There is definitely a level of justification to the backlash – rightly or wrongly, Nike alienated so much of their core fanbase with the Kaepernick advert, and this ‘patriotic’ u-turn will be seen by some as too little, too late. Regardless, Nike has an obvious right to gloat about the victory – alongside being the kit manufacturer of the USA team, it is the largest sportswear brand in the world, and the World Cup is the biggest sporting event of the year.