The most high profile college basketball game in America this season included a high profile gaffe from Nike (NKE) .
The mishap for the shoe manufacturer came within the first minute of the highly anticipated rivalry game between the University of North Carolina and Duke, when Duke star Zion Williamson planted his left foot just north of the foul line and felt his Nike PG 2.5 shoe essentially explode underneath him.
The crumbling sneaker led to a knee sprain for the projected number one pick in the NBA draft, according to Duke coach Mike Kryzewski, putting his prospects for the rest of the NCAA season at risk.
Shares of the Beaverton, OR-based sneaker maker slipped nearly 2% in pre-market trading on Thursday, a result of the incident, taking some steam out of a nearly 25% run since the company's Christmas Eve bottom.
The quality of their products coming into question in the most prominent rivalry in college basketball, injuring the game's most popular player, will be a topic of debate for many given the company's past overseeing dubious supply chains and faulty sporting products.
That the shoe blew out on National TV. That the shoe blew out for Duke-UNC. That the shoe blew out on Zion Williamson. Awful look for Nike.— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 21, 2019
"We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery," Nike said in a statement. "The quality and performance of our products are of utmost importance. While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue."
Considering the shoe retails for over $100, the lack of reliability for top level athletes is not encouraging for many.
Nike's chief competitors in Adidas AG (ADDYY) and Puma (PMMAF) wasted no time in seizing on Nike's bad press, attempting to assail Nike's over 90% share of the U.S. basketball sneaker market.
On Thursday morning, many Twitter (TWTR) feeds featured a paid promotion of Adidas' new Ultraboost basketball sneaker, a competing offering that retails at around the same price point as the Paul George inspired Nike model.
Puma was somewhat less subtle.
Puma has deleted their tweet. pic.twitter.com/7pPitJ20zP— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 21, 2019
Shares of both German shoe-makers are flat ahead of the market open on Thursday.