Nike, Kaepernick both emerge as winners with new ad campaign

Photo credit: Nike
Photo credit: Nike

Former San Francisco Giants 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick hasn't played an NFL game since the 2016 season--which many think likely was his last time stepping on the football field. Kaepernick, who is best known now for starting the player protests during the national anthem at the start of games, stars in ads commemorating the 30th anniversary of the "Just Do It" slogan. His insertion in the campaign drew a mixed reaction on social media, including a public rebuke from President Donald Trump, who used it to rally his base. The rebuke on social media, intended to affect Nike's bottomline, did not have the intended results. Instead, Nike saw the number of sold-out products increase by 61 percent between Sept. 3 and Sept. 13, the 10-day period that included Nike's Labor Day announcement about Kaepernick's feature in the campaign, compared to the previous 10 days before the announcement, according to research by Thomson Reuters. "Believe in something. Even it means sacrificing everything" is the quote the covers the Kaepernick ad. The future was looking dim for Kaepernick, who opted for free agency in 2017, and was not give a tryout because of his protest that were meant to draw attention to social and racial injustice. Many NFL teams passed up on him even when they were in need of a quarterback. Some teams didn't sign him because they already have a couple good quarterbacks and there were teams that didn't acquire him for the obvious reason... his protest. Kaepernick sued the NFL, alleging the owners colluded to keep him off the field. A court ruled recently that the case, which contends the owners
violated their collective bargaining agreement with players by conspiring to keep him off of teams, can move forward. The case hinges on whether owners worked together rather than decided individually to not sign Kaepernick. Nike reportedly first signed Kaepernick in 2011 but has not used him in the last two years. The terms of the deal were never disclosed but the apparel giant is known for being very generous and Kaepernick, whose wealth Newsweek estimated at $22 million in 2016, could be looking at an even bigger payday following the response to the Nike ad. After leading San Francisco to the Superbowl in 2014, Kaepernick signed a seven-year, $126 million contract with the team. However, he only received $39.4 million from the deal.