Consumer perception of the brand lifted with NBA All-Star Weekend, but deflated with Zion Williamson’s injury
When it comes to shifts in consumer sentiment, Nike has had quite a month.
According to new data from YouGov Plan & Track, Nike’s Impression score — which asks US adults if they have an overall positive or negative impression of a particular brand — began rising to a high of +44 around NBA All-Star Weekend, which ran February 15-17. During the various events and competitions, several of the league’s top players were seen wearing Nike sneakers, and the Nike-sponsored Kevin Durant ended up winning MVP of the All-Star Game, scoring a team-high 31 points.
The number of consumers open to purchasing their next footwear or apparel item from Nike also climbed to a high for the month following NBA All-Star Weekend. On February 15, 31% of US adults expressed interest in buying the brand. Nearly a week later, however, that percentage had increased to 43%.
Then, on February 20, Duke University's star basketball player Zion Williamson suffered an injury in the opening seconds of a prime-time game versus the University of North Carolina after his Nike sneaker burst open. Nike called the split an “isolated occurrence.”
Following the mishap, Nike’s Buzz score — which asks US adults if they’ve heard something positive or negative about a particular brand in the past two weeks — decreased from +15 to -5, as the number of consumers talking about Nike with friends and family members rose from 21% to 29%.
After Williamson’s shoe fell apart, Nike’s Impression and Purchase Consideration metrics began declining from their monthly highs.
Additional YouGov data shows that 61% of NBA fans have a positive impression of Nike, compared to 54% of NCAA men’s basketball fans and 51% of the general public. In total, 31% of NBA fans say celebrity endorsements can affect their purchase decisions, while the same is true for 29% of NCAA men’s basketball fans and 19% of all US adults.
Definition of metrics:
- Purchase Consideration asks, "When you are in the market next to purchase clothing, shoes, accessories, or luggage, from which of the following brands would you consider purchasing?"
- Impression asks, "Overall, of which of the following brands do you have a positive or negative impression?"
- Word of Mouth asks, "Which of the following brands have you talked about with friends or family members — whether online, in person, or through social media — in the past two weeks?"
- Buzz asks, "If you've heard anything about the brand in the past two weeks — through news, advertising, or word of mouth — was it positive or negative?"