- Nike released a commercial starring Colin Kaepernick on Wednesday, following the announcement this week of a partnership that prompted boycott threats as well as criticism from President Donald Trump.
- Kaepernick narrates the ad, which features a wide range of athletes including inspirational amateurs, Serena Williams, and LeBron James.
- Kaepernick is shown only in the closing seconds of the commercial, which does not feature the former NFL player in football gear.
Nike released a commercial starring Colin Kaepernick on Wednesday, following this week’s announcement of a partnership between the two that prompted boycott threats as well as criticism from President Donald Trump.
Nike and Kaepernick posted the commercial on Twitter and YouTube.
The ad, narrated by Kaepernick, showcases various inspirational sports-related stories, including amateur athletes such as a football-playing homecoming queen and an Ironman participant who lost 120 pounds and recovered from a brain tumour. Professional athletes, including Serena Williams, LeBron James, and the Seattle Seahawks’ Shaquem Griffin (whose left hand was amputated when he was young), are also featured.
Kaepernick is shown only in the closing seconds of the commercial, wearing a turtleneck and a tan coat. The ad concludes with the words “It’s only crazy until you do it. Just do it.”
Notably, the ad does not include footage of the protest that helped make Kaepernick one of the most polarising figures in sports.
Kaepernick was the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem before games in 2016 to protest racial inequality and police brutality. Critics accused the protest of disrespecting the US flag and military, and Trump called for players who protested during the anthem to be fired.
When news broke on Monday that Kaepernick would star in a new Nike campaign, the response was quick.
Anecdotally, people threatened to boycott Nike, with some even destroying their Nike shoes and socks. Trump chimed in on Twitter on Wednesday, saying Nike was “getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts.”
Any larger effects on Nike’s business were unclear. Most business and brand observers said Nike seemed to have weighed the risks in running the Kaepernick ad, with Nike’s core customers considered to be primarily young, diverse urbanites who are more likely to be “belief-driven buyers.”
Watch the full ad here:
Read more about Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ad:
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- Trump says Nike pays ‘a lot of rent’ in an interview about the new Colin Kaepernick ad
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- The NFL released a statement backing players protesting social issues, including Colin Kaepernick
- ‘Few companies can afford to anger that many consumers and survive’: Branding experts say Nike may have gotten exactly what it wanted with its controversial new Colin Kaepernick ad
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