Nike Swoops in with Kaepernick



As of September 3, 2018, Nike and football player Colin Kaepernick engaged in a partnership for a Nike advertisement (Photo courtesy of Pixabay, photo credits to mohamed_hassan).

On Labor day, Nike announced it’s advertisement with Colin Kaepernick, former quarterback for the 49ers, known for kneeling during the national anthem. This makes Kaepernick the face of Nike for the brand’s 30th year anniversary. Nike will be releasing Kaepernick-inspired apparel, including a shirt and shoes.

“Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” said Colin Kaepernick.

This is the line Kaepernick uttered in the advertisement, starting the domino effect of controversy. However, Colin Kaepernick has been a face of controversy ever since he kneeled during the national anthem on September 1, 2016.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride, in a flag, for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” said Kaepernick.

Many viewed his kneeling during the national anthem as disrespect to, not only America, but to those who fought for our country and are continuing to do so.

“I feel like [the partnership] is a bad thing, because it’s disrespecting our country and [Nike] is supporting it,” said sophomore Sydney Taylor.

Some troops and veterans have claimed their sacrifice isn’t equivalent to the sacrifice that Kaepernick depicts in the advertisement, but others applaud him for this actions.

“I’m in a room of a bunch of heroes that, in a heartbeat, would die for Colin’s right to do what he’s doing. That’s sacrifice,” said Special Forces Sergeant Tim Kennedy.

Aside from veterans and service members, universities are speaking out as well. Two Christian colleges, Truett McConnell University (TMU) and the College of Ozarks, are refusing to wear Nike products for their sports team’s gear. Besides the gear, the company has received a lot of harsh backlash from Nike users on their slogan. Nike’s iconic tagline “Just Do It,” has morphed in into #JustBurnIt. The reveal of endorsement has caused outrageous reaction from the burning of Nike products to cutting off the swooshes in the sign.

“I think it’s very funny and shows their passion, but [their anger] is going to the wrong place,” said sophomore Connor McAbee.

The “Just Do It” brand took a plunge with Kaepernick that could possibly ruin their image or make them a force to be reckoned with.

“I think [the brand deal] was a bad decision because people now see Nike as a bad company,” said sophomore Aidan Neamon.

Nike’s newly found partnership has greatly impacted the company, business wise. The brand’s shares and sales have hit an all-time high ten days after the announcement of the campaign. All things considered, Nike is taking a stand on a controversial issue, and that alone is impressive.

“Nike is a company that is focused on younger generations and expanding their market. This ad did that for them,” said co-founder of Edison Trends, stock monitor, Hetal Pandya.