Colin Kaepernick has made his return to the spotlight. While the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback may not be returning to the football field anytime soon, we will still be seeing plenty of Kaepernick thanks to an announcement from Nike on Monday, Sept. 3.
Nike announced — through ESPN’s Darren Rovell — that Kaepernick is the face of the company’s 30th anniversary “Just Do It” ad campaign.
According to Rovell, Nike has been paying Kaepernick “all along” and waiting for the right time to unveil him as the face of a new campaign. That will come during the 2018-19 NFL regular season with a new striking image kicking things off. Kaepernick has had an endorsement deal with Nike since 2011.
In the first image from the campaign, a black-and-white close-up of Kaepernick’s face is pictured behind the quote: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
It’s an interesting decision by Nike, which has a very close working relationship with the NFL. After all, the Swoosh brand is the official uniform supplier of the league and often runs ads during NFL broadcasts. This also comes at a time when Kaepernick and the NFL are at odds with Kaepernick achieving an important preliminary win last week in his collusion case against the NFL which a judge ruled can move forward.
But Nike knows what they are doing, and nothing will generate more buzz or attention than using Kaepernick’s face for the ad campaign.
People either love or hate Kaepernick so there will be an emotional response on both sides. Sure, you will get some people saying they will never buy another Nike product again, but like their so-called boycotts of the NFL, Starbucks, and Keurig, it will likely be all talk as Nike continues to be an apparel and lifestyle giant.