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.
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.
Nike got a ton of exposure this weekend thanks to Patrick Reed’s winning run at Augusta National, but they didn’t exactly do a lot to capitalize on it.
Reed, who signed an apparel deal with the company that was announced in January, wasn’t listed on Nike’s golf site as of Saturday, when he was leading the Masters through 54 holes.
Yesterday, Patrick Reed wasn't listed on Nike Golf's website.
He is now.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) April 8, 2018
On Sunday, Reed finally had a spot towards the bottom of Nike’s golf athletes. He was listed below Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Brooks Koepka, Alex Noren, Francesco Molinari, Thomas Pieters, Kevin Chappell and others.
Nike finally put some respeck on Patrick Reed's name pic.twitter.com/jOXmggcrZE
— Larry Brown Sports (@larrybrownsport) April 8, 2018
Between leaving him off the website and not letting him wear a specific outfit, it wasn’t all great attention for the swoosh and their major-winning golfer.
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Don’t expect to see Patrick Reed wearing his usual red shirt and black pants on Sunday at the Masters.
Reed told Golf Channel on Thursday that Nike issued a directive to its golfers to have them dressed in similar colors.
“They’re doing a new thing where all the players stay in the same kind of story line,” Reed said. “All the players will either be in dark blue or gray, grayish black today and yesterday and then all of us will be in the same color tomorrow and Saturday and Sunday.”
Reed, who signed with Nike in January, is expected to wear pink on Sunday when he will have a full day’s worth of exposure playing in the final pairing with Rory McIlroy. He will enter the final round as the leader through 54 holes, holding an excellent shot at claiming his first major.
There is no word on what color Tiger Woods will wear, though many expect him to be sporting his customary red on Sunday.
After a string of high-profile tears to their jerseys during the early part of the NBA season, Nike announced on Monday that it’s ‘working to implement a solution’ and correct the problem.
“Nike has always put the athlete at the center of everything we do and we have worked hard to create the most advanced uniforms in the history of the NBA,” the company said in the statement via ESPN. “They are lighter and deliver great mobility and sweat wicking characteristics, and the feedback from players has been overwhelmingly positive. However, during game play we have seen a small number of athletes experience significant jersey tears. We are very concerned to see any game day tear and are working to implement a solution that involves standardizing the embellishment process and enhancing the seam strength of game day jerseys. The quality and performance of our products are of utmost importance and we are working with the NBA and teams to avoid this happening in the future.”
Nike, who signed an eight-year, $1 billion deal with the NBA that started this season, did not reveal how many of its jerseys would be discarded as the result of these tears, nor did they give a guaranteed timeline on a fix.
Over the first few weeks of the season, more than a handful of NBA superstars have not only seen their jerseys torn, but in some cases, literally ripped to shreds.
A compilation video of some of the tears had recently been put together and it immediately went viral on social media.
The one saving grace for Nike has been a lack of complaints from consumers who have purchased the authentic jerseys, which range anywhere from $100 to $250.