Carrying on or letting go

The relationship between a brand and its ambassador is highly symbiotic. Companies try to tie themselves to celebrities having attributes as they want to be associated with. Nike sponsors athletes like Colin Kaepernick to target young and urban consumers, and it is one of the most fruitful relationships for Nike in recent years. Although after the controversy of 2016 when Kaepernick started kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality among various things and left the team. It became difficult for Nike to justify their ties to him.
Surely they must want to move away from the footballer, thinking it can be a PR disaster for them. But they carried on, and in 2018, we saw a controversial but successful campaign that had more than 80 million views on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. What can be the reason for carrying on, surely its more than just a gut feeling?
Brands make poor choices then the clean up after the mess is enormous. In 2018, Sports brand ASICS dropped two Australian cricketers after ball-tampering allegations against them were confirmed.
Some brands keep it all quiet and try to let the storm pass. Still, it can convey to the public that the brand is equally dishonest or untrustworthy as the person involved in the controversy or the brand does not care at all. A proper strategy should be formulated, keeping in mind that the brand should publicly disassociate itself with the person and should make it clear that they do not condone such practices. As news on television or other means can only reach certain people, I believe that social media as tweets or comments will generate more buzz.
Facing such celebrity endorsement scandals head-on will reinforce a brand’s values in the minds of the consumers as running away or closing our eyes does not make us invisible.

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