Memo to Urban League: Nike Thanks You for Being Outraged by $300-a-Pair Lebron's

Nike’s (NKE) in a major marketing dust-up over its decision to sell a limited run of LeBron sneakers for $300 a pair. The National Urban League's president calls the latest, record-setting, high-priced kicks “insensitive,” reports the Wall Street Journal.

But investors don't need to worry much about this -- just don't do it, in Nike speak.

To be sure, sparking outrage probably not what Nike's marketing troops, described in this Fortune piece, were aiming for. But Nike is no stranger to controversy. Its footwear has done an impressive job of pissing off communities all around the world. Some highlights:

-In 1996 its Nike Air Bakin sneakers bore an image meant to look like flames, but some Muslims said looked like “Allah” written in Arabic. Nike recalled the product and issued an apology.

-In 2009, Nike recalled the Air Jordan 12 “Rising Sun,” whose insoles played off the Japanese flag. Various reports on the internet, that great source of rumor-mongering, tend to agree that the flag was problematic.

-Last March Nike had a beer-themed sneaker out dubbed “The Black and Tan,” which for some in Ireland brought to mind a brutal British group of the same name that tried to wipe out Irish revolutionaries. Nike apologized.

People seem really sensitive about sneakers, for whatever reason, and Nike’s not the only one who has pissed them off. Read more stories of sneaker-related revolt here. It makes headlines, companies apologize, and consumers start noticing the new products.

And predictably, some are coming to Nike's defense. The owner of a pair of 1985-vintage Air Jordans is asking $2,900 on eBay (EBAY). If there are people willing to pay hundreds, or even thousands of dollars for old sneakers, is it really so terrible to ask a few hundred for new ones?

In summary, the dust-up is free publicity. Moreover, it's probably not going to do a lot of damage, so Nike investors would do best to focus on the company's fundamentals. Those, as YCharts' Carla Fried reported here, may hold opportunity. Yes, margins are under pressure.

NKE Profit Margin Chart

NKE Profit Margin data by YCharts

But revenue is still growing.

NKE Revenue Growth Chart

NKE Revenue Growth data by YCharts

And while the P/E has risen in recent weeks, YCharts Pro rates it still just a shade undervalued.

NKE PE Ratio Chart

NKE PE Ratio data by YCharts

Anyway shareholders, not known for their political sensitivities, probably aren't going to be angry that Nike's testing the limits of consumer demand.

From the editors of YCharts.YCharts Pro Investor Service includes professional stock charts, stock ratings and portfolio strategies.

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