The NFL’s official apparel provider has a problem with one of the other sports in which the company has a major presence.
The blowing out of Zion Williamson’s Nike shoe in Wednesday night’s UNC-Duke game has sparked a crisis for the corporate behemoth, forcing it to do damage control after the wardrobe malfunction contributed to a knee sprain for the sure-fire first-round NBA draft pick.
According to the Raleigh News & Observer, Nike sent a delegation to Durham on Thursday night to meet with Duke officials. A Duke spokesman characterized the meeting as a “[p]rivate conversation between two long-time partners.”
Said Nike in a statement: “We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery. The quality and performance of our products are of utmost importance. While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue.”
Lions guard Frank Ragnow had a shoe spontaneously rip apart last season, but these occurrences tend to indeed be isolated. That doesn’t make it any better when it happens.
While competitors may try to make hay — and Williamson could eventually make a lot of money by playing Nike against the likes of Reebok/adidas and UnderArmour — any damage to Nike will likely be minimal. Although the News & Observer points out that Nike stock dropped by 89 cents per share on Thursday, nearly all of that has returned as of this posting, and the stock price will surely continue to fluctuate (and ultimately climb) regardless of Zion’s shoe.