“To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world” is the mission statement for the largest sports apparel company in the world. Nike shook up the nation when they announced Colin Kaepernick would be the face of their thirtieth “Just Do It” campaign.
“Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Nike knew what they were getting themselves into. Placing great trust in their brand, they haven’t wavered in their stance even amidst anger and different boycotts. Instead, they released their first ad featuring Kaepernick, and it is riveting.
“If you’re a girl from Compton, don’t just become a tennis player. Dream of being the greatest athlete ever.”
Nike knew they would anger many Americans for this decision. The President of the United States issued a negative Tweet indicating Nike was getting “absolutely destroyed” by the pubic with this new campaign. Trump has made his stance on the Kaepernick controversy quite clear, and his attacks on the NFL are well documented. But now Nike has entered the fray.
“Don’t become the best basketball player on the planet. Be bigger than basketball.”
This statement of Nike sales plummeting was greatly exaggerated. In fact, it has had quite the opposite effect. A Sept. 10 Time magazine article reports that despite the outrage, Nike has a seen a 31 percent bump in revenue since the Kaepernick ad was released.
“If you’re born a refugee, don’t let it stop you from playing soccer for the National Team at age 16.”
Nike placed their faith in their brand and in what they believed the majority of people believed. It seems to be paying off. It’s incredible to think how long this conversation of Kaepernick’s protest has gone on. Kaepernick against the NFL or Kaepernick against those who have tried to tear him down is no longer the story. Nike has put themselves on the front lines of this issue and they seem all in.
“Don’t believe you have to be like anybody to be somebody.”
Tyler Bradshaw is a junior from Anderson University, majoring in public relations and minoring in sociology. Tyler is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, a student-run public relations agency at Anderson University.