Yesterday, Nike announced they had named social rights activist and former NFL player Colin Kaepernick the face of their latest ad in honor of their 30th anniversary of the Just Do It campaign. The controversial athlete posted the ad on his Twitter page with the tagline: “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
“The long-term relationship and a contract that benefits both parties over the next 10 years will likely outweigh any current controversy,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Chen Grazutis said to Bloomberg.
That statement seems to be the consensus: The Nike brand understands the risks and is forging ahead. The backlash is also currently very minimal, at least it appears that way on social media. Some people are using the #NikeBoycott and #JustBurnIt to share their feelings over Nike’s decision to have Kaepernick as the face of their brand. But it’s not for the reasons you may think.
@jonathanjewel tweeted: “‘I’m never buying Nike shoes again!’ – says the people who have always bought their shoes at Walmart #NikeBoycott.” @MarlinsTalk tweeted: “Instead of #JustBurnIt why don’t you #JustDonateIt? You’re not hurting Nike by burning shit you’ve already paid for. Don’t want it? Give to someone who is in need.”
In fact, the only instances we could find in which people were truly upset by this move were a handful. @MarkReardonKMOX said on Twitter: “Embarrassing…let’s not forget this guy paid homage to one of the greatest human rights abusers in history Fidel Castro. But he wants to lecture the rest of us about how black people are treated? Bad movie @nikestore. I’ll buy @PUMA or @adidas. There’s my protest.” Country artist John Rich twitted: “Our Soundman just cut the Nike swoosh off his socks. Former marine. Get ready
@Nike multiply that by the millions,” which included a picture of ripped socks.
Here’s someone burning their shoes.
First the @NFL forces me to choose between my favorite sport and my country. I chose country. Then @Nike forces me to choose between my favorite shoes and my country. Since when did the American Flag and the National Anthem become offensive? pic.twitter.com/4CVQdTHUH4
— Sean Clancy (@sclancy79) September 3, 2018
However, as we said, this isn’t going to cost Nike anything, in fact they’re probably going to make more because of it. According to the New York Times, the deal between Nike and Kaepernick includes a ton of merchandise such as a shoe and clothing. “The value of the deal will rival those of other top N.F.L. players, according to people close to the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity because Nike had not formally announced it. Nike will also donate money to Kaepernick’s ‘Know Your Rights‘ campaign,” the Times reports.
The company knew very well what they were doing when they decided to have Kaepernick represent them, so the backlash is basically nonexistent.