Despite the controversy surrounding their move, including fans burning their Nike products, boycott threats, and harsh criticism from President Donald Trump, Nike released a commercial starring Colin Kaepernick on Wednesday.
Nike and Kaepernick posted the commercial on Twitter and YouTube. and the brand plans on broadcasting it during an NFL game.
The two-minute spot, narrated by Kaepernick, features various inspirational sports-related stories, including amateur athletes and professional athletes, including LeBron James, Serena Williams, and the NFL pro, Shaquem Griffin whose left hand was amputated when he was young), are also featured.
Kaepernick appears in the closing seconds of the commercial which concludes with the words “It’s only crazy until you do it. Just do it.”
Interestingly, the ad does not show footage of the protest that turned Kaepernick into one of the most polarizing figures in both sports and politics.
Nike Rolls the Dice
Following the release of the initial campaign image, (see below) people on social media has shown have threatened to boycott Nike, with some even destroying their Nike products.
The ad drew a response from America’s polarizing president Donald Trump, who took to Twitter on Wednesday, saying Nike was “getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts.”
Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts. I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way? As far as the NFL is concerned, I just find it hard to watch, and always will, until they stand for the FLAG!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018
Some, such as Ad Week disputed Trump’s claim reporting that “NFL game ratings and Nike’s financial performance “are in relatively good positions to weather the controversy.”
Nike certainly feels confident in the move. The brand’s core demographic is made up of millennials who tend to be “belief-driven buyers.” According to research by the NDP Group, 67% of Nike’s customer base is younger than 35.