Nike’s Deal with Kaepernick is Brilliant
Nike announced on Monday that former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick will be the center of their latest ad campaign that will honor the 30th anniversary of their "Just Do It" slogan, a decision that has ignited both controversy and disbelief. Kaepernick, the former 49ers quarterback who nearly lead San Francisco to a victory over the Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII, was blackballed in the league following the 2016 season when he decided to sit and kneel during games for the national anthem to protest police violence against minorities.
Kaepernick was given a raw deal as he started a trend that is still seen to this day, and although I don't agree with the way that he decided to protest his feelings on police violence, I applaud him for having the courage to stand up for what he believes in, which ultimately lead to a brief career in the NFL, and playing the game that he loved most. Nike's deal to have him represent the face of the product is both a risky and brilliant move at the same time.
Nike has always had the high risk high reward philosophy, it has been highly successful for the organization in the past with the likes of Charles Barkley declaring that he was not a role model, to Tiger Woods reminding us that he was turned away from some country clubs because of his skin color. This latest move to bring Kaepernick on could be their biggest risk yet considering that Nike's stock dropped more than 3 percent following the news.
So why is this a good move on Nike's part you may ask, considering how controversial that Kaepernick is? For starters, he is a sleeping giant and has the potential to be a cash cow. Love him or hate him, it seems as though everyone has been talking about Kaepernick ever since this whole fiasco began in 2016. Does this mean he is marketable? Without question he is, as there are quite a few people who support him and realize that Kaepernick got the raw end of the deal as so many other NFL players followed his lead and are still playing today.
There is no doubt that quite a few people are upset by Nike's move too as was the case by showing their displeasure by burning their Nike products when the move was announced. In the long run though, this is a bold move by Nike, as they are truly making a statement. Let's face it, as popular as the organization is, it won't prevent people from buying merchandise. Last time I checked, the name of the game is to 'nem the gelt' as my father used to say, which means, get the money in Yiddish. That is exactly what both Nike and Kaepernick are doing.
Personally, I couldn't be happier for Kaepernick, pretty soon he will have his own line from shoes, jerseys and other apparel, and people will buy his merchandise. What a scenario and twist of irony; the NFL didn't want him any more, but now, he's laughing all the way to the bank.