Sneaker malfunction puts Nike in the spotlight

Reuters

Nike is in full damage-control mode after one of its sneakers - belonging to college basketball sensation Zion Williamson - split open just 36 seconds into a highly anticipated match-up between Duke and North Carolina.

Making matters worse, Williamson – who's expected to be the No. 1 pick in this year's NBA Draft – left Wednesday night's game with a right knee injury.

In a statement, Nike said it's investigating what happened, adding: "We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery."

【ギャラリー】Zion Williamson suffers knee injury after shoe 'explodes'8

The shoe malfunction sent Twitter into a frenzy, with many users noting the extreme visibility of the incident, as the game was one of the of the most watched of the college basketball season.

Even former President Barack Obama attended the high-profile event, and video of him sitting courtside appeared to show him saying: "His shoe broke."

Later on Twitter, he also wished a speedy recovery to Williamson, whose team went on to lose the game.

Shares of Nike fell more than 1% in early Thursday trading.