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Nike share price plunges by $1.1bn after college basketball star’s shoe failure

Nike has had $1.1bn (£844m) knocked off its stock value as the fallout continues from what is being called one of the most expensive apparel failures in history.

The company’s value tumbled by 1.7 per cent on Thursday as it was repeatedly blamed for a sprained knee to rising basketball star Zion Williamson, seen by millions live on TV.

Sports lovers across the US watched in horror as the teenager was crocked when his Nike trainer tore apart mid-shot during a high profile college match.

The freshman, who is due to play in the NBA this season, had to sit out the rest of the game between his university team Duke Blue Devils and state rivals North Carolina Tar Heels .

Barack Obama, who had gone to watch the match live, could be seen in his court side seat apparently saying with disbelief: “His shoe broke”.

The former president later took to Twitter to wish Williamson a “speedy recovery.”

But it seems Nike’s own rehabilitation may also take some time.

Mario Natarelli, managing partner at the MBLM brand agency in New York told CBS News the incident was a “very visible shoe structure failure for a company committed to performance and technology of its products”.

Nike asked to recall trainers that appear to have ‘Allah’ on sole
Analysts added the malfunction might hurt the firm’s ability to sign Williamson once he goes pro – a deal that would potentially be worth millions.

In a statement, the company said: “We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery. While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue.”

Companies like Nike pay millions of dollars for the exclusive right to kit out high-profile college teams like Duke, meaning their athletes are required to wear uniforms and strainers made by them.

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