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Did Zion’s Sneaker Explosion Hurt the Nike Brand? Nearly One in Five Say ‘Yes’

Did Zion’s Sneaker Explosion Hurt the Nike Brand? Nearly One in Five Say ‘Yes’

Majority feels student athletes should be compensated by sneaker companies for wearing their brands; less support for them receiving pay for playing revenue producing sports

South Orange NJ, March 1, 2019 — It was the sneaker explosion heard round the world, when Duke’s Zion Williamson’s Nike went poof last week in a game against North Carolina. Did all the publicity hurt the Nike brand?

According to a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted this week, nearly 1-in-5 respondents said it was the indicator of the quality of the brand. More than two thirds, 67%, felt it was a one-time fluke.

“That’s a good percentage favoring the one-time mishap,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the Poll, which is sponsored by the Sharkey Institute within the Stillman School of Business. “But 18% (those who felt it represented the brand’s quality), is not a small number. Nike has some rebuilding work ahead – of its image, not just its sneakers.”

These were the findings of a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted this week, with questions asked of 794 adult Americans on landlines and cellphones, with a margin of error of +/- 3.5%.

Compensation for Student Athletes

Meanwhile, a majority of Americans believe that student athletes should be compensated by sneaker companies for the use of their brands in collegiate athletics if they are required to wear the brand, and that students in revenue producing sports – like football and basketball – should receive compensation on top of scholarships and cost of attendance stipends.

On the question of financial compensation for student athletes from sneaker companies – like Nike and Adidas – , the public says “yes” by a margin of 57-36%.

On the question of compensation for participation in revenue generating sports, the margin was closer, with 49% saying “yes” and 46% saying “no.” And while white respondents are in favor of “sneaker compensation” by a 54-41% margin, African-Americans are in favor by 3-1.
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