Working Wider

To: FedEx & UPS: Seize a Nike Moment

FastCompany summarized Nike’s controversial decision to feature Colin Kaepernick in ads:

“It all started with a tweet on the afternoon of September 3rd, 2018.

Believe in something.  Even if it means sacrificing everything.’

Kaboom. Not long after, the full commercial—timed to mark the start of the 2018/2019 NFL season and celebrating the 30th anniversary of the tagline “Just Do It”—lit up the cultural discourse like no ad had done in recent memory.

People loved it. People hated it. People bought Nikes. People burned Nikes. People talked about it at home, at work, on the news. Everywhere.

It was divisive because it jumped on America’s biggest fault lines—race, patriotism, sports, and business.

“It doesn’t matter how many people hate your brand as long as enough people love it,” Knight told Fast Company last year. “And as long as you have that attitude, you can’t be afraid of offending people. You can’t try and go down the middle of the road. You have to take a stand on something, which is ultimately I think why the Kaepernick ad worked.”
Bold, yet Nike was completely in step with the racial tensions in our society.  And for business readers, they claim $163 million in earned media, a $6 billion brand value increase, and a 31% boost in sales.

Fast forward to today. 

President Trump’s administration is doing all it can to impede voting by mail in the middle of a pandemic.  One could list the facts to support this claim but it’s not necessary and more importantly, gives credence to yet another distraction. 

There’s no question that voting is the central tent pole of a government by the people.  Pull out the free and fair election timber and democracy heaves a sigh and collapses.  

Blow the whistle.  Stop the game. 

Let’s bring UPS and FedEx onto the field.  You want to know “What Can Brown Do For You?” or what FedEx means by “We Live to Deliver”.

Easy…deliver voter’s ballots.  Step up and stand alongside the U.S. Post Office.

In the words of the musical Hamilton, this is the time for both firms to rise up, and help Americans’ not throw away our democracy’s November shot.  With their combined competence, these two icons of capitalism and democracy can make voting in a pandemic easy:

Putting special ballot drop boxes at every polling place
Deliver any ballot put in an existing FedEx/UPS drop box

Snuff out this made-up, yet dangerously real controversy with action that gets ballots in and counted …absolutely, positively.  The financial returns could even be great as well. 

You know what I’m saying…Just Do It!

1 comment… add one
  • Christopher Meyer Aug 15, 2020 @ 8:12

    First response from UPS and FedEx to Reuters is to duck the issue for postmark technicalities. However, therre have already been lawsuits and exceptions made to the postmark issue. (Postmarks come under scrutiny as states prepare for mail-in voting. see

    My suggestion is that both companies approach the problem as they would any major initiative: figure out how to make it work vs. finding all the reasons it cannot.

    Their statements are below:
    “State ballots must be postmarked to be considered valid and only the USPS has lawful postmarking status. Therefore UPS, FedEx and other private parties cannot technically be involved in shipping ballots,” UPS told Reuters in a statement.

    “FedEx does accept individual ballots, and we advise that customers planning to return their ballots via FedEx should closely review their state’s guidelines on absentee voting and deadlines for ballots or related election documents,” FedEx said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *