Assessing how an unofficial brand partnership affects a brand image: The case of the Satan Shoes

Y. Greg Song, Jiemin Looi, Eun Yeon Kang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


This study investigates how unofficial, third-party brand partnerships detrimentally impact brand attitudes. It also addresses an under-explored research area by evaluating whether brands’ response strategies can effectively mitigate reputational damages incurred from paracrises — trivial yet publicly visible incidents alleging their involvement in socially irresponsible and unethical behaviors. This study is premised upon the Satan Shoes scandal, in which musician Lil Nas X and the art collective MSCHF altered and sold Nike footwear without obtaining the company’s authorization, resulting in public backlash on social media and a lawsuit from Nike to recall the modified sneakers. Sentiment analysis indicated that consumers expressed negative brand attitudes toward Nike in response to the scandal. Topic modeling also revealed key themes regarding the product design, moral controversies surrounding the Satan Shoes, and Nike’s lawsuit against MSCHF. Time series analysis further demonstrated that the lawsuit effectively positioned Nike as a victim, thereby disassociating the brand from the paracrisis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-520
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Global Fashion Marketing
Issue number4
Early online date28 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Marketing
  • Strategy and Management

User-Defined Keywords

  • Twitter
  • Unofficial brand partnerships
  • paracrisis
  • sentiment analysis
  • topic modeling


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