Nike and basketball are inextricably linked. One goes in hand (or foot) with the other, although the major sports manufacturer were forced into 'damage control' mode after an incident involving one of their star clients caused their stock to fall.
Zion Williamson is one of the most highly rated talents in college basketball and all eyes were on him on Wednesday night. However, the trainer ('sneaker' to our American friends) he was wearing split in half after less than a minute of Duke University's clash with North Carolina.
Social media exploded with anger and questions as to how such a highly respected manufacturer of trainers could allow something to happen. The trainer in question sells for between $95-105 on the Nike website!
The 6-foot-7-inch Williamson, who is expected to be the top NBA Draft pick in 2019, was left floored as he went to turn before his trainer disintegrated. The 18-year-old suffered a mild sprain to his right knee as a result of the fall and missed Duke's subsequent 88-72 defeat to North Carolina - the result was a shock as Duke are the No.1 ranked team, whereas the victors are ranked 8th.
The fall-out from the game went well beyond the court however as Nike issued 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.
In the wake of the incident involving Williamson's trainer, Nike's sock dropped 1.41%, taking an eye-watering $1.46 billion of their market capitalisation since Wednesday's market closed.