Nike is playing damage control after Duke basketball phenom Zion Williamson tore his sneaker in a game Wednesday evening.
Nike’s (NKE) stock was down more than 1% on Thursday. Nike builds its reputation around creating premier shoes and clothes for athletes, but that image took a hit with Williamson’s sneaker snafu.
Analysts attributed the stock move to Williamson, the presumptive top pick in this year’s NBA draft and the hottest prospect since LeBron James entered the draft from high school more than a decade ago. Within the first minute of Duke’s blockbuster matchup against rival North Carolina on Wednesday, one of Williamson’s Nike PG2.5 shoes split apart.
Williamson left the game with a knee injury. Former President Barack Obama was sitting courtside, and clips of Williamson breaking his shoe and Obama pointing to it immediately went viral.