Before new ad campaign, Nike almost dropped Kaepernick

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The month began with Nike rolling out a major ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick. Before that, the company almost severed ties with him.

As explained by Julie Creswell, Kevin Draper, and Sapna Maheshwari of the New York Times, Nike debated severing ties with Kaepernick in the summer of 2017, and Nike “very nearly did.” Per the report, a “top communications executive” at Nike eventually made a persuasive case for keeping Kaepernick on the corporate roster of athlete endorsers. Kaepernick stayed there for a year, basically in mothballs.

Then came the 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign, and Nike decided to dust off its relationship with Kaepernick, and to take it to an unprecedented level.

In the end, Nike balanced the risk of alienating the NFL, for which Nike has been the exclusive apparel provider since 2012 and will be until at least 2028, against the “credibility the company would gain with the young, urban market it has long targeted.”

And that’s exactly the point that should have been widely made after the deal emerged. Nike isn’t doing “the right thing.” Nike is doing what it believes will be the profitable thing. Because Nike, as a publicly-traded company, has a fiduciary duty to its shareholders to make as much money as possible.

So far, it has worked. To the point where Kaepernick’s supporter and partner in protests has finally gotten an NFL contract, and the world somehow has kept spinning.

70 responses to “Before new ad campaign, Nike almost dropped Kaepernick

  1. How did Nike get Eric Ried a contract? Is this European soccer where sponsors are trying to dictate who should play and get signed? Pretty sure the Brazilian national soccer team got into a lot of trouble for letting sponsors decide who plays…

  2. If Nike practiced doing the “Right Thing”, it would stop the child slave labor practices of those who make the shoes for them. Its all about Profits for Nike, the most hypocritical company on Earth.

    “Just Do It”……..Just look up the facts on NIKE and the way they abuse child labor to make a dollar

  3. Well after their initial surge in sales they’ve dropped significantly. And I believe it will continue….

  4. …Nike balanced the risk of alienating the NFL, for which Nike has been the exclusive apparel provider since 2012 and will be until at least 2028.

    January 1, 2029 – “Hello Adidas? NFL here, how do you feel about making us some uniforms and shoes? K, thanks!”

  5. Nike was too short sighted to understand that the immediate gain wasn`t from Nike fans that would stay with them and keep buying their products but from people who just like protesting things to feel like their being heard.They will move on to something new to whine and cry about soon but the people they offended are going to remember it for a long time.Lets see where they are in 10-15 years.

  6. It’s so funny seeing people say they will never buy Nike again. That’s like saying “you’re leaving” after coming home and finding all your belongings piled up at the curb.

  7. Of course they did, he was neither an active player or a retired great. They didn’t drop him because it would have looked really bad for them from a PR standpoint. So they kept sending him checks and didn’t use him.

  8. NFL is probably regretting giving the contract to Nike in 2010 and abandoning the old British company Reebok who after winning the contract in 2000 went and built a global HQ in the US.

  9. I love our country & military!!!! Your comments about Kap & Nike are so awesome to hear!!! Thank you for your service & thank you for your comment! It’s ok to stand for something, stop with the hate. If you don’t want to wear Nike don’t wear it.

  10. This US Navy veteran doesnt mind someone exercising their rights (literally what the flag is about) The responses to someone taking a knee is the craziest thing I have ever heard of.

    I’m more offended by that can of beer you’re drinking out of the US flag themed koozie.

  11. What I saw Thursday in LA was a cool picture of this leagues future, WOW! Speed all over, what a fast & entertaining product!

  12. Love all the yahoos saying Nike stock was gonna tank and sales would be down because of the big boycott. LMAO

  13. “In the end, Nike balanced the risk of alienating the NFL, for which Nike has been the exclusive apparel provider since 2012 and will be until at least 2028, against the “credibility the company would gain with the young, urban market it has long targeted.”
    ++++
    So, it really wasn’t a social statement as much as it’s about tapping a market.

    Everything Nike said about that commercial was a lie!

    I haven’t wore a Nike shoe since junior high. Preferred Addidas. And yes, I know their history. You can’t change it, but one must learn from it.

  14. “So far, it has worked. To the point where Kaepernick’s supporter and partner in protests has finally gotten an NFL contract, and the world somehow has kept spinning.”
    ___________

    So you’re saying Eric Reid getting signed is a direct result of the Kaepernick ad? You sure it ain’t just because Carolina needed a safety and all the better FA safeties, who also were unemployed for awhile before being signed might I add, were already taken?

  15. Sadly, to NIKE it’s all about profits. I don’t think they really care much about Kaepernick. The biggest reason he was picked is because he is a controversial figure.

    I agree with some of the Vets who posted here. Indeed it is Kaepernick’s right to protest in any legal way allowed.
    That said, it is my right to dislike his actions. It’s called consequences.

  16. Nike airing this AD did the NFL a favor. They turned something very decisively & put a positive message behind it. Kaepernick opted out of his contract in SF & isn’t willing to play for what the market will pay him, Vet minimum.

  17. Absolutely everyone’s right & I totally respect your opinion. The problem in our country isn’t people’s stances on important issues it’s our inability to have respect for others we don’t agree with. I personally would stand, but not my job to judge someone who sees it different.

  18. I do struggle with the notion of anyone thinking either of them crumbling. These are 2 giants that are both built to withstand what’s currently going on. The attention they have both gotten regarding this issue is clearly proof of that. Tiny little pebbles being chipped off a mountain. Neither will be going anywhere anytime soon.

  19. I don’t wear Nike’s, never have, and I don’t like Kap because of his attitude.

    Now, having said that, he does have a right to stand up for his rights to me, it isn’t on the football field. I turn in to see the game, not someone trying to make a political statement.

    There are other avenues where he could protest what he feels is right and in a peaceful place.

  20. I’m going to the mall right now and I’m going to buy something that says Nike on it. I have kids that are growing and go through shoes fast. We’ll be buying a whole bunch of Nike shoes in the coming years. I have a lot of respect for man like Kaepernick. A man who will stand with the weaker folks when the bullies come out. Those are the kind of men that helped make America a great country. Not necessarily the front runners.

  21. Veteran’s like myself are more outraged with the NFL using the military and patriotism, like low life faux patriotic politicians, than Kaep’s choice of free speech. Kaep detractor’s and their faux outrage are afraid of change. That’s the number 1 entry in the privileged white male playbook. FEAR

  22. charliecharger says:
    September 29, 2018 at 5:19 pm
    I’m going to the mall right now and I’m going to buy something that says Nike on it. I have kids that are growing and go through shoes fast. We’ll be buying a whole bunch of Nike shoes in the coming years. I have a lot of respect for man like Kaepernick. A man who will stand with the weaker folks when the bullies come out. Those are the kind of men that helped make America a great country. Not necessarily the front runners.
    ————————————

    Colon was raised by rich white suburban parents. He has been a coddled star athlete all through High School, College and into the NFL. He didn’t start claiming to care about anybody until he started being terrible at football. He didn’t even vote in the last election. He’s no hero, he is a fraud.

  23. He didn’t make it about politics we did. Players who make it to the NFL work their butts off. No doubt god given ability but you get to that level bc you invest in the entire process. White patents do not make him less black. He was a 4.0 at Nevada, graduated with 2 degrees & a masters. He was #1 in HS class. He was a highly motivated kid, do more research on him.

  24. charlie8816 says:
    September 29, 2018 at 6:12 pm
    He didn’t make it about politics we did. Players who make it to the NFL work their butts off. No doubt god given ability but you get to that level bc you invest in the entire process. White patents do not make him less black. He was a 4.0 at Nevada, graduated with 2 degrees & a masters. He was #1 in HS class. He was a highly motivated kid, do more research on him.
    ————————————

    Anyone who claims this country oppresses people while wearing a shirt with Fidel Castro on it is the biggest fraud I can imagine. Books give you good grades but they don’t make you able think critically. Fraud.

  25. “Because Nike, as a publicly-traded company, has a fiduciary duty to its shareholders to make as much money as possible.”

    This is incorrect. U.S. Supreme Court said in the Hobby Lobby case:

    “Modern corporate law does not require for-profit corporations to pursue profit at the expense of everything else, and many do not.”

  26. Liberalsruineverything says:
    Anyone who claims this country oppresses people while wearing a shirt with Fidel Castro on it is the biggest fraud I can imagine. Books give you good grades but they don’t make you able think critically. Fraud.
    —————–

    He wore the shirt because of Malcolm-X, not Fidel Castro. But anyway, I find it hilarious that the same people who think Fidel Castro was a murderous dictator, think Putin is a swell guy.

  27. I was speaking to the coddled remark. Your entitled to your opinion on his stance. Too many people think these guys were just given these opportunities. This particular person was an elite worker who set lofty goals as a youngster. Your stance on this is you using your free speech, would never get angry about that. Just cringed when I saw coddled.

  28. mark0226 says:
    September 29, 2018 at 6:40 pm
    Liberalsruineverything says:
    Anyone who claims this country oppresses people while wearing a shirt with Fidel Castro on it is the biggest fraud I can imagine. Books give you good grades but they don’t make you able think critically. Fraud.
    —————–

    He wore the shirt because of Malcolm-X, not Fidel Castro. But anyway, I find it hilarious that the same people who think Fidel Castro was a murderous dictator, think Putin is a swell guy.
    ——————————

    That’s funny because usually when I mention that Malcom X, Castro and Louis Farrakhan are all on that shirt it gets modded. Thanks for helping me out bud.

  29. I wish from a $ standpoint. I actually have never agreed with his actions, just don’t hate people who do. When this went down I researched him…..it does bother me when people think these guys were given everything. They are rare human beings from a work ethic standpoint

  30. US Army vet – Federal LEO

    Never buying Nike again – I will wear what I have cutting grass and use the shirts as garage rags. I don’t care how much money they make. Don’t care who else buys them. It’s a personal choice. They won’t get another penny from me. I’m sure I’m not hurting them at all. Someone else will buy there stuff so that they can continue supporting a police hating Castro supporter. Have to stand for something when nobody else stands with the officers sworn to protect and serve.

  31. Colin Hypocrite wants to end the oppression of people of color by taking money and being the face of a corporation that makes its money of the backs of slave wages in high-pressure work environments using 3rd world people of color.

    Can’t have both ways Kaepercrite

    Meanwhile Nike is laughing at the idiots supporting them. It doesn’t matter what you do, just that you virtual signal something ‘good’ in the eyes of said intolerant morons.

    Hey Kaep, remember, the policies of the police were made by people of all colors, races, and creeds and police are put in tough spots with such policies while having to interact with criminals.

    Kneeling and disrespecting our flag and our police when you don’t understand what you are actually protesting about makes you an idiot.

    Colin Kaepernick, an idiot hypocrite.

  32. The fact is for some reason you people think shoe companies matter, I don’t get it but they have made it like politics. None of these shoes for any of these companies matter at all. They use you all and make crazy money, then leave you all to fight

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