Nike has been a leading advertiser for many years. And it has sponsored social causes. For example, see Behind the Scenes Nike Just Does It. But beginning this week, Nike pushes the envelope more than ever. It has decided to feature Colin Kaepernick, the NFL player behind the national anthem protests, in new ads. In fact, it has signed Kaepernick to a contract extension through 2028.

The controversial use of Kaepernick is widely supported by some customers. Yet, it has resulted in footwear and apparel burning by others. What do YOU think?

Nike Pushes the Envelope

.Nike Pushes the Envelope


Just Do It: Nike Pushes the Envelope

“Nike is not backing off its polarizing Colin Kaepernick campaign. The company is amping it up with a new call-to-action spot that will air during the NFL opener Thursday night on NBC. The sportswear giant today (Wednesday) released a two-minute-long video ‘Dream Crazy’ narrated by Kaepernick as part of its controversial effort. In addition to running during this week’s Thursday Night Football telecast, it will appear during coverage of the U.S. Open, Major League Baseball games, and college football games, according to a Nike spokesman.”

“The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback encourages consumers to dream as he showcases recognizable athletes such as LeBron James and Serena Williams alongside others including Megan Blunk, a wheelchair basketball player, and Isaiah Bird, a wrestler who does not have legs. ‘What non-believers fail to understand is that calling a dream crazy is not an insult—it’s a compliment,’ Kaepernick says in the spot. He closes with the mantra that first appeared in his marketing for Nike on Monday: ‘Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.'”

17 Replies to “Nike Pushes the Envelope”

  1. Colin Kaepernick is a known athlete across America. His performance on the Fourniners was beneficial both for himself and the franchise. However, his use of the NFL to promote his political opinion is something that cause controversy among all football fans. It caused fans to pick sides, whether to support or refute his opinion. When Nike signed him for the next 10 years Nike customers took sides in a similar manner. I believe Nike knew this was going to happen and used it to gain a substantial amount of publicity. This tactic is allowing them to gain media headlines on many major news outlets. This is, in my eyes, is not for any specific belief or cause but, for money. This publicity in the short term will cause a loss for Nike but in the long run will cause them to gain a massive amount of profitability.

  2. The decision of Nike to support Colin Kaepernick was controversial for many reasons. One reason is because of how divided people feel about the topic. Colin was a very good quarterback in the NFL and led the 49ers to compete in Super Bowl 47. A few years later he made the decision to take a knee during the National Anthem which sacrificed his career, which was why he is the symbol of the theme in the commercial “sacrifice”. The commercial in my opinion was a very good idea because it shows that a huge company like Nike can support the cause that Colin supports. It brings attention to the matter and also brings publicity to Nike. Sales have gone up since the commercial but we won’t know exactly how the commercial affects overall sales in the long longrun.

  3. Nike is knows as being the top athletic-wear company and has been dominating the market for a lengthy period of time. Colin Kaepernick has dominated the NFL’s media since he first kneeled for the national anthem in 2015. Now both dominate the media collectively due to this commercial. Nike made a very smart decision signing Colin Kaepernick onto their brand. The controversy caused so much buzz in the media it drew an incredible amount of attention to Nike. This attention initially caused slight drops in stock but now their stock is up. Without Kaepernick the ad may not have gained the amount of attention it did. People are also finding the new slogan Nike placed into the ad very enticing which simultaneously bolsters the ad’s popularity.

  4. Nike has done something truly tremendous with this campaign. Despite its controversial premier using Colin Kaepernick, the company’s sales have increased 33% as of yesterday (9/10) from the start of its campaign. The two-minute commercial, which is uncommon in comparison to the 15-second and 30-second ads we are used to seeing most recently, positively draws attention to diversity and “dreaming.” The commercial is inspiring, unique and much less controversial than Nike’s first ad. On their part it was smart to kickstart with something that caught the attention of everyone, both positively and negatively. This dramatic start brought even more attention to their big message in the two-minute ad. I applaud companies with power who take these kinds of risks. I am one to lose focus after 45-second ads, but this two-minute ad had me wanting more. Nike followed their own advice to, “believe in something even if it means sacrificing everything,” with this groundbreaking campaign that probably did wind up costing them a few loyal customers.

  5. I think this is a needed ad with how society is today in politics. Nike is known as being the top athletic wear company, and many professional sports teams and college teams use them. Colin Kaepernick also has been a hugely talked about NFL player, since his first time kneeling during the national anthem at a game. I think everyone has the right to their own actions and opinions, and he was speaking out for a wide audience that couldn’t speak for themselves. This ad immediately caused a huge outrage from middle aged white republicans on social media platforms like Facebook. They slandered this ad heavily, and people even made videos of them burning their Nike gear (even though they already bought the items that Nike benefited from). Initially, sales dropped with Nike, but over the week or so of the ad being out, sales raised about 25-35%.

  6. I believe it was very bold of Nike to use Colin Kaepernick in this ad. It did receive a lot of publicity because of how controversial it was, but I don’t know if it was worth the amount of customers they lost. Yes, many people support or feel indifferent to the ad but there are a lot of people who felt personally affected in a negative way that say they will no longer buy from nike. It was definitely a way to get their name out there, but I don’t know if it will have a positive impact on their sales in the long run.

  7. Nike had an opportunity to “exploit” a famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) athlete in order to boost sales in their company. They created an ad campaign that would almost necessarily create media buzz. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that this is an advertising campaign for a huge corporation. The fact that so many people are talking about this campaign makes this a huge success for Nike. Whether or not this makes Kaepernick more sympathetic or heroic is not important to Nike. Nike just wants to sell more merchandise.

  8. Colin Kaepernick is such a polarizing athlete in today’s modern age. He exploded onto the scene of the NFL almost out of nowhere and made it to the Super Bowl using a new-age style of playing the quarterback position by running almost anytime he saw a gap in the defense and this skyrocketed him and the 49ers to popularity. Since 2016 he has been leading protests during the national anthem of NFL games by taking a knee to protest police brutality. Many saw this as noble but even more saw it as an insult to the USA. Being a true social justice warrior, he stuck to it when he was threatened with suspension and fines. He became a problem for his franchise and started a movement that became a problem for the NFL as a whole. He hasn’t played a single down in over a year and he’s suing the NFL claiming that the owners colluded together to not sign him. I believe in what he’s trying to raise awareness for and frankly, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal or symbol of disrespect that he’s kneeling during the anthem. All he is trying to do is something considered “drastic” to get attention so he has an audience in order for him to be able to speak his mind on issues polarizing our country. I commend hm for his actions and at least he’s still getting paid by Nike since he can’t play for any teams in the NFL.

  9. Nike made a bold move when they chose Colin Kaepernick. They chose such a controversial icon to create buzz about their name and merchandise. The idea of this marketing plan was to get people talking and bring them back into the public eye. Everyone knows Nike and their symbol, but this would create another surge of media for them. Their main objective is only to sell more products and have a higher profit.

  10. Choosing Colin Kaepernick as their current spokesman has allowed for the Nike brand to expand its influence in the media, business, and political world. Most companies believe that staying politically neutral can be advantageous and will have little negative impacts on their business. In this day and age, remaining neutral can actually alter the public’s opinion of that brand in a negative way. In their current ad, Kaepernick encourages the audience to believe in something even if it means sacrificing everything. Nike chose wisely in picking Kaepernick, as their spokesperson for this ad, since he himself lost his job, received death threats, and faced the backlash from thousands for taking a knee during the national anthem. The controversial act was criticized by many as being disrespectful and some even called it unconstitutional, despite the fact that most of the audience remains sitting or with their backs towards the event. The hypocritical opinions of many has been pointed out by many critics. The controversy itself sparked a movement unlike any other, and having the leader of the movement be their spokesperson for a motivational ad helps encourage more press coverage over their brand image and boost their sales in the end.

  11. Nike’s bold decision to use Colin Kaepernick as the face for their advertisement lead to some controversy. Kaepernick, a former NFL quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, made headlines in 2016 when he began to kneel during the national anthem before his games in protest to social injustices towards African Americans in the United States. Kaepernick received lots of support, even getting many other NFL players to follow in his footsteps and also take part in the pregame kneeling. However, he also embraced massive amounts of backlash from the rest of America, saying his actions were unpatriotic and how his actions were disrespectful to his country. His actions could be a top reason for his free agency-status right now in the NFL. Nike’s decision to use Kaepernick as the face of their ad “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” sets a powerful tone to it’s audience. I believe Nike made the right choice in using Kaepernick for their ad. Contrary as advertising an athlete for their outstanding performance to make sales, they choose an athlete that has faced massive amounts of backlash and has still found success, even after passing through a seemingly endless road of speed bumps.

  12. Nike’s choice of using Colin Kaepernick as the face of their new ad was a bold one. Kaepernick is a former NFL quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers who received criticism for kneeling during the national anthem in 2016. He did so to protest against oppression against African Americans in the United States. His actions made headlines and lead to controversy. Kaepernick even inspired more NFL players to follow in his footsteps and kneel during the anthem as well while others decided to protest Kaepernick and call him disrespectful over social media. As of now, Kaepernick is a free agent and does not play for an NFL team, which his protest may be the reason why. So for Nike to choose him as the face of their ad with the quote “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” sends out a powerful message to it’s audience. Personally, I believe Nike took a big step forward and it could pay off. With the news blowing up on social media, it’s putting the Kaepernick picture everywhere, with the Nike logo as well. Many people have expressed their views by burning their Nike products, but this message could lead to the sale of even more.

  13. Colin Kaepernick is known for his kneeling during the national anthem back in 2016. Just recently, Nike has made him the face of their brand, which was a very bold move. At first, Nike’s shares had dropped due to this controversial move, but had soon risen back up. Nike knows the uproar they have created and they were willing to potentially lose customers. However, they know this uproar will cause people to start talking about their company, which was a smart move on their part. All Nike is looking to do is sell their products and make money, which they seem to be doing with this controversial move.

  14. Colin Kaepernick decided to sit during the national anthem during one of his games back in 2016 and immersed himself into controversy. Two years later, his action still has a huge impact on American society. Nike has been known for pushing barriers and I think it was a great idea to have Kaepernick to be the face of their new ad because he stands for “sacrificing everything” for believing in a cause. Also, Nike has positively gained from their new ad in terms of publicity and money.

  15. Nike knew exactly what they were doing when they made this campaign. I think that they used Colin Kaepernick not to “send a message” about who they support regarding the National Anthem, but they wanted to use a person who had a strong belief in something and who was willing to tell a story. Colin is a very well known athlete and Nike is one of the top athletic brands in the world, so it makes sense that they would want to work together. I think it was an extremely smart move to use him– they ‘struck the iron while it was hot’ so to say. His involvement in society is what caused the company’s popularity to sky rocket o much after the release of the campaign. I have always been under the belief that any publicity is good publicity. So, even though there was a lot of backlash, it still got people talking about Nike, which was their goal.

  16. Nike is already one of the most recognizable brands in the world, and this ad only furthers that with Colin Kaepernick being one of the most controversial names in sports today. Regardless of how you feel about Kaepernick’s actions this ad will only help to sell the Nike brand because even though they will lose some people with this campaign, they will gain more than they lose as people like to see companies playing a part in social justice.

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