Nike launched its new advertising campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick this week in advance of the start of the 2018 season, and the timing was hardly a coincidence.
The “Just Do It” ads featuring Kaepernick and other star athletes were only the start. As Darren Rovell revealed on Wednesday, an ad that is voiced over by Kaepernick is set to air during Thursday night’s game between the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles. Here’s the commercial:
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 5, 2018
Nike has received plenty of backlash for using Kaepernick to commemorate the 30th anniversary of its “Just Do It” slogan, but the sports apparel company obviously knew that was coming. Even if there have been strong negative reactions, the social media numbers tell the story.
Nike’s new campaign features star athletes like Serena Williams and Odell Beckham Jr. in addition to Kaepernick. It has also been endorsed by LeBron James, so there is plenty of support.
There have been plenty of strong reactions to Nike’s decision to make Colin Kaepernick the face of its new “Just Do It” ad campaign, but the amount of publicity the sports apparel juggernaut has gained because of it is already undeniable.
According to some figures from the social media analytics firm Talkwalker, mentions of the Nike Brand were up 135 percent from the previous week as of Tuesday. While the mentions have been both positive and negative, mentions of Nike were approaching the 3 million mark in a 24-hour period, which was a 1,400 percent increase over the day before the new campaign was released.
Many athletes and celebrities have already tweeted about the new “Just Do It” campaign, and the reactions have ranged from support from NBA players like Kyle Kouzma to one member of the music community destroying his own socks in protest. Nike obviously expected the campaign to create a buzz, and it has done just that.
Nike unveiled a major new ad campaign on Monday to commemorate the 30th anniversary of its “Just Do It” slogan, and Colin Kaepernick is the main face of it. There has been speculation that the free agent quarterback will also be getting his own clothing line, but that is apparently not the case.
Yahoo’s Charles Robinson reported that Nike plans to give Kaepernick a “star” endorsement deal, which means shoes, shirts, jerseys and other apparel items. However, ESPN’s Darren Rovell was told that is not happening.
Nike sources say the company has no plans to give Colin Kaepernick a signature shoe, nor an extensive clothing line, as had been speculated.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 4, 2018
Kaepernick has been under contract with Nike since 2011, which was the year he entered the NFL. The company has stuck with him even though no team has signed him, and his new legal representation is said to have negotiated his latest deal with the apparel juggernaut. Robinson said Kaepernick was receiving interest from other shoe companies, which gave Nike a sense of urgency.
The Nike ads featuring Kaepernick have already drawn some strong reactions, including one that has a link to ESPN’s “College GameDay” program.
Nike’s decision to make Colin Kaepernick the face of a new ad campaign has drawn plenty of strong reactions, and one of them already has ties to ESPN.
After Nike debuted its new “Just Do It” campaign on Sunday, a sound production worker for the band Big & Rich decided to protest the sports apparel company by cutting the Swoosh logo off his socks.
— John Rich (@johnrich) September 3, 2018
As you may know, Big & Rich’s song “Comin’ to Your City” has become the theme song for ESPN’s “College GameDay.” The song plays at various points during the broadcast and the band has performed it live in several cities.
Nike has kept Kaepernick under contract even though he has been unable to find work in the NFL. Kaepernick has been with Nike since 2011, and the details of the current endorsement deal are pretty noteworthy.
Nike decided to drop a major bomb on Labor Day, announcing a new 30th anniversary campaign headlined by Colin Kaepernick. The ads promote their “Just Do It” slogan with a powerful message: “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Now some details surrounding the deal have been revealed.
Yahoo’s Charles Robinson reports that Kaepernick will have his own branded line of gear including shoes, shirts, jerseys and more. He also says that Kaepernick’s deal is a “star” deal worth millions per year and includes royalties on sales.
Details on Kaepernick and #Nike:
– It’s wide endorsement. He’s going to have his own branded line. Shoes, shirts, jerseys, etc. There will be Kaepernick apparel.
– Contract is a “star” deal on par with a top end #NFL player. Millions per year. Star deals also include royalties.
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) September 3, 2018
Kaepernick has been with Nike since 2011, which was the year he entered the NFL. According to Robinson, this is a new deal that was negotiated by Kaepernick’s new legal representation. Interest from other shoe companies apparently sprung Nike into action.
A lot behind the curtain here. @Nike had Kaepernick since 2011 but this is actually a new deal done by Kaepernick’s reps @markgeragos & @meiselasb. Nike sat on Kaepernick for 2 years w/ no idea what to do with him. Interest from other shoe companies absolutely changed their tune. https://t.co/IJJnjxWHLS
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) September 3, 2018
Mark Geragos is representing Kaepernick in his collusion case against the NFL, which recently had a positive development.
The ads have been met with predictable levels of controversy and have made Nike a dominant topic of conversation.
- Colin Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick has kept his endorsement deal with Nike even as he has been unable to find work in the NFL for well over a year, and the sports apparel juggernaut has unveiled a powerful new campaign featuring the quarterback.
On Monday, Nike debuted a series of intense “Just Do It” ads to commemorate the 30th year of the popular slogan being coined. Kaepernick is one of the faces of the campaign with a powerful image that reads “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
Serena Williams, Odell Beckham Jr. and NFL rookie Shaquem Griffin are among the other athletes who are featured:
Awesome new Nike “Just Do It” ads pic.twitter.com/JFaAfm3ize
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 3, 2018
The timing of Nike’s release speaks volumes, as we recently learned Kaepernick’s collusion case against the NFL is set to go to trial. Kaepernick, of course, began the movement of kneeling during the national anthem, and we were reminded of how much support he still has with the way fans reacted to him attending the US Open over the weekend.
The loudest cheers of the night during the Serena vs. Venus Williams match at the US Open on Friday came for a couple of football players.
Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, who are both suing the NFL for allegedly colluding against them, were in attendance for the match in Queens. They received loud cheers when shown on the big screen at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
— Bryan Armen Graham (@BryanAGraham) September 1, 2018
Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid are at tonight’s #USOpen match between Serena Williams and Venus Williams. Loud cheer when they were shown on the Arthur Ashe Stadium Jumbotron.
— Stanley Kay (@citizen_kay) September 1, 2018
Largest cheer at Arthur Ashe stadium other than the introductions of @Venuseswilliams & @serenawilliams were for @Kaepernick7 and @E_Reid35. Rousing ovation when they were shown on the big screen. #USOpen2018
— Donnovan Bennett (@donnovanbennett) September 1, 2018
Kaepernick scored a big victory in his legal case when an arbitrator declined to dismiss the complaint, sending it to trial. Kaepernick is entering his second season of not playing in the league despite being talented enough to do so. Reid, who was teammates with Kaepernick on the 49ers, filed a suit earlier this year alleging collusion. Unlike Kaepernick, he did play last season.