Washington, Feb 22 (IANS) Nike stocks have plunged after basketball star Zion Williamson’s sneaker split apart during a match.
The American sportswear giant’s stocks were down more than 1 per cent on Thursday following the incident on Wednesday evening which took place within the first minute of Duke’s blockbuster matchup against rival North Carolina, CNN reported.
After Williamson’s Nike PG2.5 shoes split apart, he left the game with a knee injury.
Clips of former President Barack Obama, who was sitting courtside, pointing to the incident has gone viral.
Nike, which exclusively supplies Duke’s basketball team with uniforms, shoes and gear, quickly released a statement, saying they were “working to identify the issue”.
Endorsement deals with star athletes, including LeBron James and Serena Williams, and sponsorships with pro sports leagues and top college basketball and football teams are a crucial part of Nike’s growth strategy.
Nike has also reduced its dependence on high-top basketball sneakers for growth in recent years. It has instead focused on lightweight running and wear-to-work shoes.
The company’s basketball sneaker sales fell last year as consumers moved away from performance sneakers to more casual and comfortable shoes.