In case you were hiding from the news this week, last Wednesday a WSJ reporter tweeted out a quote from New Balance’s VP of Public Affairs, Matt LeBretton: “The Obama administration turned a deaf ear to us and frankly, with President-elect Trump, we feel things are going to move in the right direction.” Within an hour, sneaker head magazine Sole Collector got wind of the statement and incited angry, shoe-burning backlash from consumers with their coverage.
And while it’s true that the statement was and continues to be taken out of context by consumers all across the political spectrum, the incident has definitely raised questions among some of us about where our dollars go when we purchase products from Nike, Under Armour or NB.
For instance, according to a research piece for CBS Sports, Nike founder Phil Knight donated $133,400 to support Republican congressional candidates in the 2016 election cycle and Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank gave $2,700 to the Clinton campaign. If you want to dive into the records yourself, check out OpenSecrets.org, which searches public record donations. There, I discovered the president of Mizuno USA, Robert S. Puccini, gave nominal amounts to Republicans in previous election cycles but did not donate during the 2016 election. Blake Krueger, CEO of Saucony parent company Wolverine World Wide gave $6k to Republicans in 2015 and 2016. Laurent Potdevin of Lululemon gave $2,700 to Clinton last October 1st.
Would any of this information sway your decision to purchase products from one company or another?
Do your political beliefs affect the way you shop? Do you think it’s important to consider how a company or its leaders will use the money you spend on their products?