Is Nike Kneeling?


Maxwell Vaughan, Writer

The most recent Nike advertisement, featuring Colin Kaepernick, a former 49ers NFL
player, has ignited a storm of backlash. The caption of the advertisement is “Believe in some-thing. Even if that means sacri-ficing everything.” These word have a lot to do with Kaepernick’s controversial kneeling during the national anthem. This advertisement was a calculated risk by Nike, as they hoped that the good resulting from this ad would out- weigh the bad, and as marketing experts have said, it will. Tremendous backlash like this has been beneficial to companies in recent years. For example, when the Chik-fil-A owner spoke against gay marriage, even after groups boycotted the fast food service, sales went on an upward trend. Similarly, Nike’s sales have also benefited from the controversial advertisement having 61 percent
more merchandise sold since the controversial advertisement came out.

For Nike, this ad is just about being loyal to the core values they want in their athletes. They have always looked for trailblazers, people who have forged their own path, and that have set themselves apart from other athletes. Some examples of this have been Bo Jackson and Michael Jordan. The most recent of these athletes just happens to be Colin Kaepernick, as he has not allowed himself to be silenced by others, and has stood up for what he believes in. This fighting spirit resonates with the young crowd and their target audience.

This advertisement has other tangible benefits too. Despite some of the talk being negative, Nike, the advertisement, and many things associated with Nike are constantly brought by people on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The president has tweeted about it, and the words “Just Do It” have been some of the top ones trending on Twitter. It even comes up in casual conversation. Therefore, Nike’s decision to feature Colin Kaepernick whether a good decision or not, has everyone talking about them and their products.