In a controversial move, sports apparel company Nike made former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick the lead sports figure in the company’s 30th anniversary of its “Just Do It” marketing campaign.
Kaepernick ignited the football player protest movement during the National Anthem in 2016.
The former quarterback and political activist promoted the Nike deal in a Tweet:
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
Nike plans to produce Kaepernick products including a T-shirt and a shoe.
The New York Times reports:
Nike will produce new Kaepernick apparel, including a shoe and a T-shirt, and if the merchandise sells well, the value of the deal will rival those of other top N.F.L. players, according to people close to the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity because Nike had not formally announced it. Nike will also donate money to Kaepernick’s “Know Your Rights” campaign.
The story also describes the Kaepernick ad:
The new Kaepernick ad features a close-up, black-and-white photograph of his face, with copy that references his kneeling and his belief that his activism is keeping him out of the league.
The ad reads: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Yahoo sports writer Charles Robinson described the Nike deal with Kaepernick:
Details on Kaepernick and #Nike:
– It’s wide endorsement. He’s going to have his own branded line. Shoes, shirts, jerseys, etc. There will be Kaepernick apparel.
– Contract is a “star” deal on par with a top end #NFL player. Millions per year. Star deals also include royalties.
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) September 3, 2018
Predictably, the pushback against Nike was swift and harsh.
The response on social media included videos of Nike apparel being burned.
Nike’s decision to use Colin Kaepernick as the face of its latest advertising campaign has some sports fans burning with rage.
People upset with the move have started setting fire to their sneakers and sportswear to protest Nike using Kaepernick to promote the 30th anniversary of its “Just Do It” advertising campaign.
Nike shareholders should be outraged over the company’s decision to jump head first into a political controversy that will alienate consumers.