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Nike Signs Colin Kaepernick For 30th Anniversary 'Just Do It' Campaign

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Nike Signs Colin Kaepernick For 30th Anniversary 'Just Do It' Campaign
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Controversial football player Colin Kaepernick is the new face of Nike Inc (NYSE: NKE)'s latest "Just Do It" ad campaign.

What Happened

Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers and current free agent, Tweeted a picture from the campaign with the caption: "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything."

The tagline is "certainly fitting to Kaepernick's story," CNBC said, a reference to his 2016 decision to no longer stand for the national anthem ahead of a football game in a protest of police brutality.

"To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way," CNBC quoted Kaepernick as saying at the time.

Why It's Important

Nike's relationship with the former NFL star dates back to 2011 although it was unclear until now how the sports apparel giant planned to use the relationship, CNBC said. It's also unclear how consumers will react to the now very public partnership, although some of the backlash from social media is telling.

For example, singer-songwriter John Rich Tweeted a picture of his soundman, a former marine, cutting the iconic Nike swoosh off his socks. Rich adds: "Get ready @Nike multiply that by the millions."

Conservative commentatorBen Shapiro questioned the logic of the partnership. In a Tweet he said, "Name the thing he sacrificed. He was benched before he protested. He's become far more celebrated and famous than his performance would justify. Now he's got a lucrative ad contract. Ali sacrificed something. Kaepernick didn't."

What's Next

Shares of Nike were trading lower by nearly 2 percent early Tuesday morning, likely in reaction to the new ad campaign which could, as Rich said, result in millions of Nike users dropping the brand in favor of a rival such as Under Armour (NYSE: UAA) or adidas (OTC: ADDYY).

Related Links:

Colin Kaepernick's Controversial Decision Won't Affect Current Sponsors

Big Tech's Move Into Streaming Live Sports: Winners And Losers

Posted-In: CNBC Colin Kaepernick football nflNews Sports Top Stories General Best of Benzinga

 

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