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Nike's Kaepernick Campaign

9.17.18

Nike's Kaepernick Campaign

This Labor Day Weekend Nike launched their campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick and it has caused quite the bit of buzz.

Kaepernick, the former 49ers quarterback who has been a free agent for 18 months, began sitting and then kneeling in the summer of 2016 to raise awareness of police brutality and social injustice, a cause that was ultimately taken up by NFL players and other athletes. Last fall, Trump called for any “son of a bitch” who did not stand for the anthem to be fired. After opting out of his contract with the 49ers, Kaepernick found himself unhireable. He eventually filed a collusion grievance arguing that he has been unemployed not because of his skillset, but because he decided to take a knee during the national anthem back in 2016 preseason in protest of racial inequalities that exist in America. 

And then the ad dropped.

 

We saw an array of responses flooding the twitterverse.  

 

1. The burning of Nike products; AKA #NikeBoycott

2. Mocking of the #NikeBoycott

3. And parodies. Many many parodies.

So what did this do to the Nike brand? Clearly Kaepernick’s message was speaking for Nike as well? What would Nike lose from this campaign?

 

Turns out, they just won.

 

Nike added roughly 170,000 Instagram followers around the timing of the release of its ad campaign. Nike's shares hit an all-time high of $83.90 on Thursday. And sales went up 31%.