Updated: Jun 9, 2019
Introducing Colin Kaepernick, the face of Nike's 30th Anniversary, Just Do It Campaign.
Since September 2016 former San Francisco 49ers National Football League quarterback Colin Kaepernick, has been peacefully protesting police shootings of unarmed black Americans, by kneeling during the national anthem. His actions "give a voice to people who don't have one," as an athlete, a player in the NFL he immediately has a platform that can be used and is able to easily draw attention to the issue. Click here to find out more about why and what Kaepernick is protesting for.
Although, his form of protesting is peaceful, plenty individuals don't agree with how Kaepernick has gone about doing it, including the likes of President Trump and the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell. Some have said it's disrespectful to the country, to the American flag and especially to veterans. However, veterans haven't hidden their support for Kaepernick, claiming that the reason for their service is to allow people to use their Amendment Rights. In this case, their first amendment right which is the Right to Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly and Petition.
Kaepernick has put his career on the line to fight for the greater good. He went from being a quarterback with a substantial amount of potential, to a social justice advocate in the span of two years. Many people have written him off, and plenty of teams have passed up on the opportunity to sign him. Most likely due to the controversy that it would bring to the team, the franchise and it would most likely create a divide amongst fans. All leading towards a loss of profit, which no NFL franchise wants. But, one brand was willing to take a calculated risk.
This is where Nike stepped in, signing Kaepernick in 2011. On September 3rd 2018 Nike announced that Colin Kaepernick is the face of their 30th Anniversary "Just Do It" campaign. Of course, it's come with heavy backlash and boycotting, with some owners of Nike products cutting the logos off their socks or burning their sneakers. The hashtag #JustBurnIt has emerged and started trending on Twitter, while others have made light of the backlash and joked that they'll finally be able to get Nike sneakers in their size.
Throughout Kaepernick's protest he has received support from fellow NFL players, Marshawn Lynch, Jeremy Lane and Tom Brady, to name a few. Kaepernick has also received support from outside his sport by LeBron James and Serena Williams, single handedly the most important Nike athletes of this generation. This should be enough to make what Kaepernick is protesting, the main focus of his protest.
This very public relationship with Nike and Kaepernick is a massive gamble and has proven to be as their stock has already taken a dent, and some investors aren't happy with the decision Nike have made. As can been seen in one of our previous Crep Talks, Super Brands: Adidas vs Nike we mentioned the marketing strategies of Nike when compared to Adidas, the sponsorships also, this was a risky thing to announce, but we're almost certain it will pay off. Nike know their majority demographic is young (Millennials and Generation Z), therefore, were willing to take the risk as they know that their sales won't drop. Could this be the start of major brands showing support for unorthadox protests and movements?
From an article on Hypebeast, we can see that Nike have gained "$43 million worth of media exposure in the first 24 hours," it's looks like that drop in stock has barely made a difference. Not only will Kaepernick be the face of the 30th Just Do It campaign, he will also will feature in billboards, commercials, have a new apparel line and have contributions by Nike made to his Know Your Rights charity.
We can't wait to see what apparel Kaepernick & Nike have in store. To end, we'll say that we commend both Colin Kaepernick for what he has done bringing awareness to oppression, and Nike for showing support and publicly announcing a massive investment in him.
Here are some words of wisdom: Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.
Watch Nike's latest video for their Just Do It campaign below:
Thanks for reading, this was something different than you're used to but a topic we had to speak on. We'll be back with sneaker related posts very soon, so stay tuned.
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Cover image: Colin Kaepernick
Music: Nelly - Air Force Ones