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Nike’s Hail Mary Pass: Drafting Kaepernick Onto Their Team

Nike’s Hail Mary Pass: Drafting Kaepernick Onto Their Team

Image Source: Nike via CNN Money

Let me make this clear – I don’t follow sports, nor do I participate in them, but I know a good play when I see one. While some film themselves ripping off the swooshes from their socks or burning their shoes and share it on social media, others call Nike’s latest “Just Do It” campaign – featuring NFL player Colin Kaepernick – one of the boldest and most strategic marketing moves to date. The internet is buzzing about it!

Back in 2016, Kaepernick decided not to stand for the national anthem to protest racial injustice, causing great controversy. On Monday, Nike announced the NFL player’s addition to their team. It is no doubt that making him the face of the brand’s 30th anniversary “Just Do It” marketing campaign was going to spark backlash and be highly controversial. Though, the social media ‘noise’, airtime coverage and articles are exactly what Nike expected. The media exposure from the new ad was valued somewhere around $114 million within the first 48 hours of the campaign, according to Apex Marketing Group, based in Michigan.

Even President Trump had something to say about it on Wednesday when he tweeted, “Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts.”

But did their ratings really go “way down” or is this Nike’s Hail Mary pass moment? Only time will tell. Nike’s response to the backlash was to release the full version of the “Just Do It” commercial with Kaepernick. By doing so, they reinforced the campaign’s message of believing in something worth sacrificing everything for – which is something I like to still believe the majority of Americans can respect.

Posted by Jovanny