The Voice

Nike Sales “Soar” in Wake of Kaepernick Ad Campaign

New Nike spokesman draws controversy... and sales.

Colin Kaepernick, former 49ers quarterback, is the latest face for Nike.

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Colin Kaepernick, former 49ers quarterback, is the latest face for Nike.

Heather Suraci, Features editor

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People were shocked to see quarterback-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick debut as Nike’s newest company spokesman. The campaign debuted in a television ad narrated by Kaepernick on the opening night of the NFL season.

By using Kaepernick as a central part of the 30th anniversary of their “Just Do it” tagline, Nike has successfully stirred up controversy and conversation, as well as significantly increasing their sales.

Using Kaepernick as part of the commercial and print advertising is extremely contentious. Kaepernick started a movement among NFL players by kneeling during the National Anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice.  Kaepernick’s actions created mixed opinions and sparked debates regarding his character and belief system. Since the controversy, the former 49ers quarterback has gone unsigned by any NFL team since March 2017.

It it apparent that Nike intended to generate more conversation around the product line. Since the campaign’s debut, the buzz surrounding Nike, and their choice of Kaepernick as a brand representative, has been incessant.

Online sales of Nike products jumped 31% between the Sunday before and the Tuesday after Labor Day…”

Some consumers, and former Nike brand devotees, have reacted by protesting the brand, going as far as to burn their beloved Nike products. Various social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram are plastered with videos of Nike products being set on fire.

Other individuals are holding strong, supporting Nike and Kaepernick by purchasing the company’s newest products.

According to data from Edison Trends, online sales of Nike products jumped 31% between the Sunday before and the Tuesday after Labor Day; nearly double of last year’s 17% increase over the same time period.

Needless to say, it is apparent that Nike’s recent ad campaign has achieved what it had set out to: controversy, conversation, and a substantial increase in sales and market share.

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Nike Sales “Soar” in Wake of Kaepernick Ad Campaign