Nike, Colin Kaepernick, and the politicization of sports: Examining perceived organizational motives and public responses

Joon Kyoung Kim, Holly Overton, Nandini Bhalla, Jo Yun Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This study applies arguments from attribution theory to examine the role of perceived motives (values-driven, egoistic-driven, strategic-driven, and stakeholder-driven motives) in developing individuals’ attitudes, positive word-of-mouth (PWOM), and negative word-of-mouth (NWOM) intentions in response to Nike's 30th Anniversary ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick. This study also examines how perceptions of the appropriateness of the politicization of sports moderate these relationships, as well as individual factors that predict people's assessments of sports as a politicized event. A survey (N = 373) was conducted to examine how much people's perceptions of Nike's motives for engaging in Corporate Social Advocacy (CSA) guided their responses and the degree to which they were likely to engage in actions. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101856
JournalPublic Relations Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Marketing

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