Colin Kaepernick becomes Nike’s new face
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In early September, Nike released their thirtieth anniversary campaign ad, which featured Colin Kaepernick, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, sparking a lot of discussion and controversy.
Using Kaepernick as their campaign’s face was a bold move for Nike as plenty of dispute surrounded Kaepernick when he kneeled during the national anthem before games. This campaign showed how Kaepernick gave up his football career to stand firm in his beliefs.
“Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” Kaepernick said in the ad.
Kaepernick started to kneel during the national anthem in order to bring awareness to systematic racism and police brutality.
Initially, Kaepernick wanted to sit on the bench during the anthem, but a former military officer and NFL player, Nate Boyer, advised him to kneel as soldiers kneel to honor fallen soldiers and by kneeling, Kaepernick wouldn’t be disrespecting the national anthem.
Kaepernick has not played football since 2016 since he opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers.
With the new Nike campaign, Kaepernick has started a movement inspiring others to stand tough in their beliefs.
“Personally, it pushes me to strive to stand up for things I believe in because I see that it is possible for a movement to succeed,” said Kiran Amegadjie, junior football player.
The varsity pommers order customized apparel from Nike every year. Last year, the girls got customized jackets, while this year, they got custom shoes.
“Nike using Kaepernick as their new face didn’t really change whether or not we got Nike products because the brand is known for having high-quality products,” said Nora Ewing, junior pommer. “The campaign was pretty thought-provoking though, as it made people think about their own beliefs.”
Nike is known for delving deep into controversial issues and making their stance clear, but Nike wouldn’t have chosen Kaepernick as their new face if their sales weren’t going to benefit. And they were right to have chosen so as their sales increased 31 percent and they made $6 billion more over Labor Day weekend.
After seeing these sale boosts, Nike’s ad seems less of a political and ideological campaign and more of sales technique.
“I still love Nike and their products no matter the backlash they are getting for their advertisements,” said Abby Chute, sophomore.
Nike received backlash for their products, which for the majority, was people burning and cutting their Nike products on social media. People, such as President Donald Trump, questioned Nike’s decision and proclaimed that they would boycott the company.
Contrary to all this backlash, the increase in sales shows that Nike, once again, emerges as the winner.