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The Importance of Alphonso Davies

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49 minutes ago, Obinna said:

I love Davies getting this level of exposure. Just simply fantastic for him and for our profile as a national team.

How many people have you heard utter the words, "canada have a soccer team"? And how many of those are likely to watch this commercial? I would wager a lot.

But...

As an aside, who else finds this advertisement odd? Kid wrestling with no legs, a woman boxing in a burka, female basketball player in a wheel chair, female linebacker, overweight man shedding his fat and running a race, a refugee success story, lebron's school for the underprivileged, and the creme de la creme: kaepernick, who is not even under contract as an NFL player anymore, displaying his support in the fight against police brutality.

Why is Nike espousing this particular message? It's quite interesting, as it feels like sports are taking a backseat to politics in this one!

Nike is an apparel company, they are branding their message to people and using athletics as a vector, Nike makes all types of apparel.  Nike is making this particular message because they've probably calculated that its good for their brand.  I'm not really sure why someone would think that hyping up people who are different and that we should accept and celebrate that is odd, seems like a great message to me and especially for an apparel company that is typically trying to reach as many (average) people as possible.  

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54 minutes ago, Obinna said:

I love Davies getting this level of exposure. Just simply fantastic for him and for our profile as a national team.

How many people have you heard utter the words, "canada have a soccer team"? And how many of those are likely to watch this commercial? I would wager a lot.

But...

As an aside, who else finds this advertisement odd? Kid wrestling with no legs, a woman boxing in a burka, female basketball player in a wheel chair, female linebacker, overweight man shedding his fat and running a race, a refugee success story, lebron's school for the underprivileged, and the creme de la creme: kaepernick, who is not even under contract as an NFL player anymore, displaying his support in the fight against police brutality.

Why is Nike espousing this particular message? It's quite interesting, as it feels like sports are taking a backseat to politics in this one!

Bizarre times we live in.. I can’t see this ending well for Nike.  Also, it’s so sad that we finally have a player in a major ad and yet it’s our Canadian kid being dragged into some political crap.  People have honestly lost their minds, I just wish they would leave us out of it because before you know it we’re gonna have some morons kneeling for the Canadian anthem saying they’re oppressed. 

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4 minutes ago, villus said:

Nike is an apparel company, they are branding their message to people and using athletics as a vector, Nike makes all types of apparel.  Nike is making this particular message because they've probably calculated that its good for their brand.  I'm not really sure why someone would think that hyping up people who are different and that we should accept and celebrate that is odd, seems like a great message to me and especially for an apparel company that is typically trying to reach as many (average) people as possible.  

That's a very interesting take. I don't think it's odd to hype people up who are different, I think it's odd that Nike are doing so, and so heavily. It is the literal foundation of the commercial, with a divisive personality narrating to boot.

What I am particularly interested in, and I know it's off topic a bit, is that Nike calculated this would be good for their brand.

On the surface it's a message that casts a wide net in terms of appeal, as it pays homage to many different people, but on the other hand, the most central character to the whole commercial is an extermely polarizing figure. It's a gutsy marketing strategy when you consider that.

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4 minutes ago, Obinna said:

That's a very interesting take. I don't think it's odd to hype people up who are different, I think it's odd that Nike are doing so, and so heavily. It is the literal foundation of the commercial, with a divisive personality narrating to boot.

What I am particularly interested in, and I know it's off topic a bit, is that Nike calculated this would be good for their brand.

On the surface it's a message that casts a wide net in terms of appeal, as it pays homage to many different people, but on the other hand, the most central character to the whole commercial is an extermely polarizing figure. It's a gutsy marketing strategy when you consider that.

It’s without a doubt the boldest marketing strategy of our time.  Let’s see if it pays off.. my money is on no. 

The issue is that they’re casting a net as if to say all these people are somehow related to Kap, and if you don’t stand with him then you stand for oppressing marginalized people.  It’s ridiculous. 

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13 minutes ago, Obinna said:

That's a very interesting take. I don't think it's odd to hype people up who are different, I think it's odd that Nike are doing so, and so heavily. It is the literal foundation of the commercial, with a divisive personality narrating to boot.

What I am particularly interested in, and I know it's off topic a bit, is that Nike calculated this would be good for their brand.

On the surface it's a message that casts a wide net in terms of appeal, as it pays homage to many different people, but on the other hand, the most central character to the whole commercial is an extermely polarizing figure. It's a gutsy marketing strategy when you consider that.

Yeah guess I misunderstood what you were saying.  I think there is no doubt that they have calculated this is good for their brand, think this journalist sums it up better then I could:

I'd agree with the take, Nike is at its bottom line a fashion company and fashion companies make their money by being edgy and on the right side of current culture.   The main people who hate Kaepernick are Trump people, not exactly known for being cutting edge fashion wise and Nike is already wildly embraced by urban culture, which is polar opposite to the type of people who hate Kaepernick, so it hits their target audience.  

Edited by villus
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11 minutes ago, villus said:

Yeah guess I misunderstood what you were saying.  I think there is no doubt that they have calculated this is good for their brand, think this journalist sums it up better then I could:

 

So Nike is betting on their brand against a sitting US President.. have they not learned or watched anything over the past 2 years?  It’s just ignorance at its finest.  Why wade into that battleground voluntarily?  It’s insane and the whole theory behind this is so twisted, I don’t know how a major brand like Nike could think it’s a good idea. “Let’s go after just 50% of the pie” like how is that smart?  Sell a brand on the diversity image sure and make our boy the poster child but to have Kapernick involved it creates a battleground. 

Trump put a dent in the NFL.. how can they be so cocky to think the same thing isn’t going to happen to them? 

Edited by Keegan

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9 minutes ago, Keegan said:

So Nike is betting on their brand against a sitting US President.. have they not learned or watched anything over the past 2 years?  It’s just ignorance at its finest.  Why wade into that battleground voluntarily?  It’s insane and the whole theory behind this is so twisted, I don’t know how a major brand like Nike could think it’s a good idea. “Let’s go after just 50% of the pie” like how is that smart?  Sell a brand on the diversity image sure and make our boy the poster child but to have Kapernick involved it creates a battleground. 

The US President who is a rambling racist idiot yes.  I'm going to bet Nike has a lot more analytics on the issue then we do.  Its not really insane, Kaepernick is probably wildly popular amongst their target audience for their gear and people who are cool and edgy are going to be more likely to rock Nike gear.  They aren't worrying about white 45 y/o Larry from Arkansas who doesn't like Kaepernick because he kneels for the anthem.  I'm not even going to get into the people who hate on Kaepernick are wholly misguided and characterizing his protest on their own twisted narrative completely ignoring his words or what he's bringing attention to.  

Edited by villus

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23 minutes ago, villus said:

Yeah guess I misunderstood what you were saying.  I think there is no doubt that they have calculated this is good for their brand, think this journalist sums it up better then I could:

 

Thanks for sharing that! 

Some very good points made in that video, but they are essentially licking their finger and sticking it in the air to guage what direction the political winds are blowing.

While I agree with much in that video, like how the downside of losing customers is smaller than the upside of gaining them by capturing customers who resonate with that message (black people, as Vice pointed out), they don't acknowledge that political and cultural winds can and do change, sometimes very quickly. Plus, they fall into the same old fallacies you might expect, such as overestimating the role of race on politcal leanings.

I do think Nike will make more money in the short term and it seems like they have already, but they are hitching their brand to the social justice wagon for fiscal reasons and that may prove to be a mistake in the end, as @Keeganeluded to.

Edited by Obinna

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I personally think it will end up good or at worst neutral for them, more people are moving away from Trumpism then towards and Nike is already front and center in black culture.  

 

What a controversial campaign like this for sure does though is it will get millions in value from free advertisement from news organizations, twitter talking heads etc discussing it.  Trump himself got into office by harvesting a lot of bad news/takes into visibility, Fox News as well has made a ton of money by catering to a very specific subset of people, they don't try to hit everyone but they do very well with specific subset of people, plenty of examples on both sides of the political spectrum.  

Edited by villus

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Im personally not dragging anything in to this, its all just bs noise and Davies is too smart for any of it. Because he's Canadian of course

 

Awesome exposure for the kid. His story is inspirational to everyone and its just getting started. Right on and lets give a shout out to a kick ass cameo from Scotty Airfield. So happy for Fonzie and Canadian football

Edited by SpursFlu

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Nike is a global brand, what a bunch of decadent white NFL fans think in pretty well the only country that cares strrongly about American football  is pretty well beside the point. Or at least a calculated risk.

That ad has gotten play the world over, because Kaepernick is, as we stand, the best known NFL athlete after Tom Brady. The world over, I saw it get play on Catalan tv yesterday (guess it was a preview clip), and 95% of those countries have probably less than a million people even remotely interested in that sport.

Every single worried post so far on this thread, wondering why Nike is shooting themselves in the foot, saying it is going to hurt them, are surprisingly short-sighted about exactly what Nike is, where and to what degree.

 

Edited by Unnamed Trialist

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This article, which a friend from England sent me a few months ago, has really gotten me thinking about why the American anthem is even allowed in Canada. You could make an argument: its roots are deeply offensive and a case could be made to ban its playing in Canada.

Its original version did not only glorify killing slaves, it also was proud about killing our British Canadian forefathers. 

https://www.chicagosportsbreakingnews.com/2018/05/24/is-the-nfl-is-enabling-white-contempt-for-african-americans/

That said, the really sad thing is that only in North America, and Canada because we've followed the US example, are anthems played before club games. I would be happy to get rid of the things altogether, and get on with the game I came to watch.

 

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1 hour ago, Keegan said:

So Nike is betting on their brand against a sitting US President.. have they not learned or watched anything over the past 2 years?  It’s just ignorance at its finest.  Why wade into that battleground voluntarily?  It’s insane and the whole theory behind this is so twisted, I don’t know how a major brand like Nike could think it’s a good idea. “Let’s go after just 50% of the pie” like how is that smart?  Sell a brand on the diversity image sure and make our boy the poster child but to have Kapernick involved it creates a battleground. 

Money. They are betting the diversity message will make them money, and so far they are correct. We'll see what becomes of the brand long term though, as they continue to implement this strategy.

They are hardly the first company to use this tactic and won't be the last. You see it with banking institutions during pride week, for example.

41 minutes ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

Nike is a global brand, what a bunch of decadent white NFL fans think in pretty well the only country that cares strrongly about American football  is pretty well beside the point. Or at least a calculated risk.

That ad has gotten play the world over, because Kaepernick is, as we stand, the best known NFL athlete after Tom Brady. The world over, I saw it get play on Catalan tv yesterday (guess it was a preview clip), and 95% of those countries have probably less than a million people even remotely interested in that sport.

 

"Decadent" white NFL fans. 

1. That pegorative is classy of you.

2. White fans, black fans, latino fans, how about just fans?

3. It goes beyond the limited scope of the NFL or even America. People worldwide have had enough of the diversity overkill. People worldwide want to embrace it further. The larger issue of diversity divides people all across the globe. That is why it is a risky branding strategy - not because of the small potential money Nike may lose from NFL fans who dislike Kaepernick.

58 minutes ago, villus said:

I personally think it will end up good or at worst neutral for them, more people are moving away from Trumpism then towards and Nike is already front and center in black culture.  

It depends on what you mean by Trumpism. If you mean national populism I would say no, especially in Europe. That is precisely why I question their branding strategy long term. There is a clearly some sort of cultural struggle and I could see the pendulum swing the other way in time.

Money aside, the court of public opinion can enhance brands, but it can also hurt them.

Edited by Obinna

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11 minutes ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

This article, which a friend from England sent me a few months ago, has really gotten me thinking about why the American anthem is even allowed in Canada. You could make an argument: its roots are deeply offensive and a case could be made to ban its playing in Canada.

Its original version did not only glorify killing slaves, it also was proud about killing our British Canadian forefathers. 

https://www.chicagosportsbreakingnews.com/2018/05/24/is-the-nfl-is-enabling-white-contempt-for-african-americans/

That said, the really sad thing is that only in North America, and Canada because we've followed the US example, are anthems played before club games. I would be happy to get rid of the things altogether, and get on with the game I came to watch.

 

Anthems before club sporting events remain the dumbest thing.  Just an excuse to roll out the novelty sized flag.

One of the underrated good things about the Voyageurs Cup is the lack of the anthem before the match.

Edited by theaub

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16 minutes ago, Obinna said:

Money. They are betting the diversity message will make them money, and so far they are correct. We'll see what becomes of the brand long term though, as they continue to implement this strategy.

They are hardly the first company to use this tactic and won't be the last. You see it with banking institutions during pride week, for example.

"Decadent" white NFL fans. 

1. That pegorative is classy of you.

2. White fans, black fans, latino fans, how about just fans?

3. It goes beyond the limited scope of the NFL or even America. People worldwide have had enough of the diversity overkill. People worldwide want to embrace it further. The larger issue of diversity divides people all across the globe. That is why it is a risky branding strategy - not because of the small potential money Nike may lose from NFL fans who dislike Kaepernick.

It depends on what you mean by Trumpism. If you mean national populism I would say no, especially in Europe. That is precisely why I question their branding strategy long term. There is a clearly some sort of cultural struggle and I could see the pendulum swing the other way in time.

Money aside, the court of public opinion can enhance brands, but it can also hurt them.

Diversity overkill you say?  Thanks for finally coming out and saying it at least, when a couple posts up you clearly were trying to disguise what you meant by saying it was "odd".  There has been rises of Nationalism and racism throughout history and when economic issues raise its head there are always people waiting to exploit ignorance to gain power and lay blame on immigrants and those who look different to the majority, nothing new and we've seen what it leads to in the past.  

Its funny Davies is a direct product of that "diversity overkill" you are saying that divides people, he's going to be a symbol of that his whole career and people who don't like it don't understand what makes Canada a great country, which is its diversity and acceptance of different cultures.  

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1 hour ago, villus said:

Diversity overkill you say?  Thanks for finally coming out and saying it at least, when a couple posts up you clearly were trying to disguise what you meant by saying it was "odd".  There has been rises of Nationalism and racism throughout history and when economic issues raise its head there are always people waiting to exploit ignorance to gain power and lay blame on immigrants and those who look different to the majority, nothing new and we've seen what it leads to in the past.  

Its funny Davies is a direct product of that "diversity overkill" you are saying that divides people, he's going to be a symbol of that his whole career and people who don't like it don't understand what makes Canada a great country, which is its diversity and acceptance of different cultures.  

You are totally misunderstanding me here.

Big time.

I am critical of the commercial. Not diversity.

I am critical of Nike, because they are using the politics of diversity to sell merchandise.

I understand the fiscal gain, and profits are what matters to them, but I do wonder how people may view Nike in the future, especially when the paradigm shifts back to something more moderate.

The commercial is such an aberrant shift from a typical Nike commercial from even 10 years ago.

It is so fascinating I just had to discuss to guage how you guys felt about it.

Edited by Obinna

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I'm not one to wade into political issues over here, but I'm gonna give my two cents on the anthems before sporting events issue. I'm not going to speak for the American anthem, but apart from at sporting events, when do we ever get to hear O Canada play? I'm still in school, so I hear it every morning, but apart from then, before sporting events is the only other time I hear it. We don't have much in terms of a national identity, and O Canada is one of the few "identifiers" that we have. We can all sing it with pride and know that we are a part of a family that is 36 million strong. If we can't have it before sporting events (where our national pride should be it's strongest) where else can we showcase our national pride?

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4 minutes ago, Jith12 said:

I'm not one to wade into political issues over here, but I'm gonna give my two cents on the anthems before sporting events issue. I'm not going to speak for the American anthem, but apart from at sporting events, when do we ever get to hear O Canada play? I'm still in school, so I hear it every morning, but apart from then, before sporting events is the only other time I hear it. We don't have much in terms of a national identity, and O Canada is one of the few "identifiers" that we have. We can all sing it with pride and know that we are a part of a family that is 36 million strong. If we can't have it before sporting events (where our national pride should be it's strongest) where else can we showcase our national pride?

Agreed. I have no issue with the national anthem before a sporting event. I mean, it's more pertinent during an international match for sure, but I also don't mind it during an NHL game. It's our national anthem.

I would think a Canadian national team fourm would have more people who enjoy our national anthem before a game, but I guess that's not the case...

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6 minutes ago, Jith12 said:

I'm not one to wade into political issues over here, but I'm gonna give my two cents on the anthems before sporting events issue. I'm not going to speak for the American anthem, but apart from at sporting events, when do we ever get to hear O Canada play? I'm still in school, so I hear it every morning, but apart from then, before sporting events is the only other time I hear it. We don't have much in terms of a national identity, and O Canada is one of the few "identifiers" that we have. We can all sing it with pride and know that we are a part of a family that is 36 million strong. If we can't have it before sporting events (where our national pride should be it's strongest) where else can we showcase our national pride?

At national sporting events, sure.  But not when Whitecaps play the Sounders, or Leafs play Bruins.

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12 minutes ago, Obinna said:

You are totally misunderstanding me here.

Big time.

I am critical of the commercial. Not diversity.

I am critical of Nike, because they are using the politics of diversity to sell merchandise.

I understand the fiscal gain, and profits are what matters to them, but I do wonder how people may view Nike in the future, especially when the paradigm shifts back to something more moderate.

The commercial is such an aberrant shift from a typical Nike commercial from even 10 years ago.

It is so fascinating I just had to discuss to guage how you guys felt about it.

You are critical of the commercial because of its message of diversity, I don't really understand why showing people from all walks of life both professional as well as non professional athletes is controversial.  An inclusive message is only controversial to people who want to see things in a narrow scope, those are lots of people who look like that, have a disability and don't get to see people like them often in commercials. 

Dismissing diversity isn't a privilege all people get, sure Nike is a business and this is calculated but you need leadership in difficult times and big brands like Nike can help in that regard by sending the right messages as opposed to cowering away or giving in to bigots.  

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3 minutes ago, Jith12 said:

I'm not one to wade into political issues over here, but I'm gonna give my two cents on the anthems before sporting events issue. I'm not going to speak for the American anthem, but apart from at sporting events, when do we ever get to hear O Canada play? I'm still in school, so I hear it every morning, but apart from then, before sporting events is the only other time I hear it. We don't have much in terms of a national identity, and O Canada is one of the few "identifiers" that we have. We can all sing it with pride and know that we are a part of a family that is 36 million strong. If we can't have it before sporting events (where our national pride should be it's strongest) where else can we showcase our national pride?

Why should our national pride at a sports between Americans, Europeans and Canadians be at our strongest? I disagree about this. It's not done in Europe. I don't see that it's important. Because it's a club match. We should have our club anthem play at club matches, not our national anthem. 

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Levi's just put money into gun control.  These moves are calculated.  Nike will be fine.  This will be a popular ad campaign for them, both at home and abroad.

32 minutes ago, Jith12 said:

I'm still in school, so I hear it every morning, ....

Jesus Christ, I'm old.  The reminder was not appreciated @Jith12:)

 

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5 minutes ago, villus said:

You are critical of the commercial because of its message of diversity

 

41 minutes ago, Obinna said:

I am critical of the commercial. Not diversity.

I don't know how to be more clear. I am critical of the commercial because they are using the political issue of diversity to sell merchandise and I think it could have negative ramifications for their brand. And I bring it up because it was surprising to me. Do you not think it's radical?

Note: I am not saying bad. I am saying radical.

21 minutes ago, villus said:

I don't really understand why showing people from all walks of life both professional as well as non professional athletes is controversial.  

The real controversy is that Nike chose Kaepernick to narrate. Love him or hate him, he's controversial.

 

34 minutes ago, villus said:

Dismissing diversity isn't a privilege all people get, sure Nike is a business and this is calculated but you need leadership in difficult times and big brands like Nike can help in that regard by sending the right messages as opposed to cowering away or giving in to bigots.  

This would be a happy, unintended consequence. Companies only care about profit.

 

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7 minutes ago, Obinna said:

 

I don't know how to be more clear. I am critical of the commercial because they are using the political issue of diversity to sell merchandise and I think it could have negative ramifications for their brand. And I bring it up because it was surprising to me. Do you not think it's radical?

Note: I am not saying bad. I am saying radical.

The real controversy is that Nike chose Kaepernick to narrate. Love him or hate him, he's controversial.

 

This would be a happy, unintended consequence. Companies only care about profit.

 

You said, "People worldwide have had enough of the diversity overkill". This is the view that lots of privileged white people in Europe and North America say, they are simply fed up with the overkill of throwing diversity in their faces I guess that's what I take issue with.  Now I'm not saying you are a bigot and I don't know you or your background but I do think that its a fairly privileged stance to be able to dismiss diversity as overkill.  

Yes Kaep is no doubt controversial and using him is courting controversy which they obviously fully know and have calculated is worth it for whatever reasons.  He's controversial because Trump fans have made it so, honestly what he was doing shouldn't have been that controversial he specifically stated he was kneeling because it was more respectful and consulted a veteran on how to protest respectfully and Nike no doubt knows that.   But by no means do I think its radical, he's not doing or saying anything radical, simply because part of the US has pulled so far to the right and has openly accepted bigots doesn't mean they can alter reality, I live in the US what he's saying is undoubtedly the reality of what minorities and specifically black men face every day.  

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