Nike fight over ‘Betsy Ross’ shoes, Colin Kaepernick (and now Doug Ducey) puts Goodyear plant, $2M development, job incentives in political storm

By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter

Goodyear and a $2 million development and jobs incentive package are caught in the political whirlwind over Nike, its planned 505-worker manufacturing plant in the West Valley and the national fight over the company’s decision to drop ‘Betsy Ross’ themed sneakers because of objections to American flag-themed shoes.

The Goodyear City Council approved a deal with Nike for a footwear plant at its Monday meeting.

The deal calls for a $184.5 million investment by Nike at the planned plant. Goodyear would pay Nike (NYSE: NKE) more than $3,900 for each employee hired at the plant capped at $1.02 million under a five-year job creation deal.

The city is also agreeing to wave 75 percent of plan review and permit fees and 100 percent of some other expedited fees up to $994,810 under the approved deal.

Nike has not publicly disclosed if it has picked a site for the plant. The deal approved yesterday says Nike anticipates having a certificate of occupancy for the plant by next June.

An economic impact study by Applied Economics released by the city of Goodyear estimates the Nike plant would have a five-year economic impact of $483.4 million.

The Nike plan appeared on the Goodyear City Council agenda over the week with a vote scheduled yesterday and before the July 4th holiday.

Enter the unlikely trio of former San Francisco 49ers turned racial justice advocate Colin Kaepernick, Betsy Ross (who made the first American flag) and Gov. Doug Ducey.

Kaepernick, who became a polarizing political figure for kneeling during the National Anthem during NFL games, convinced Nike to pull American flag themed ‘Betsy Ross’ shoes saying the colonial flag is racist. That has drawn ire from Arizona. Gov. Doug Ducey who said in a series of early morning tweets he was pulling any state incentives from the Nike plant.

“Nike has made its decision, and now we’re making ours. I’ve ordered the Arizona Commerce Authority to withdraw all financial incentive dollars under their discretion that the State was providing for the company to locate here,” said Ducey, a Republican and ally of President Donald Trump. “Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike. We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history,” Ducey said.

So, where does that leave the Nike plant and Goodyear?

The Ducey action and criticism does not necessarily squash the Nike plant.

Nike officials did not respond to a request for comment.

Goodyear officials have also not yet issued any official statements on the fight and the deal with Nike as of Tuesday morning.

Share this!

Additional Articles

Rose Law Group pc values “outrageous client service.” We pride ourselves on hyper-responsiveness to our clients’ needs and an extraordinary record of success in achieving our clients’ goals. We know we get results and our list of outstanding clients speaks to the quality of our work.

News Categories