Nike Sponsorship

Colin Kaepernick Still In The Spotlight

Jayla Sanders, Editor

By now, most have heard about the whole Colin Kaepernick situation. He’s been in the spotlight for quite some time now. At first, it was all about how he wasn’t kneeling for the national anthem, taking a knee and exercising his First Amendment rights to protest police violence against African Americans. Now, he’s back in the spotlight because he’s the face of Nike’s new “Just Do It” campaign.

There are some who believe this whole Nike deal is controversial. Traditionally, the sponsorships go a little like this: the shoe company will give the athlete money and in exchange, they wear the company’s gear and do ads for its products.

Kaepernick revealed a deal with Nike in September, sending shockwaves through the country. According to an article in The Washington Post, the campaign, which celebrates the company’s 30th anniversary of “Just Do It’, demonstrates the importance of social justice and doing the right thing, no matter the cost.

“Ath­letes have more pow­er than they re­al­ize if they want to en­cour­age com­panies to do the right thing,” writes journalist Victoria Jackson in the Sept. 6 article.

The deal supposedly include a Kaepernick shoe and shirt, much like the company’s iconic pairing with Michael Jordan. Also, Nike will contribute to funds to Kaepernick’s “Know your right camps”, which are youth and community workshops that help educate and inform the public. 

Jackson, an athlete in her own right, said “Nike could have paid a lot of money to Kaepernick, who then could chan­nel those funds into social justice causes. Instead, the company is reportedly donating directly, as part of the contractual obligation with Kaepernick.”

Though he’s been under contract with Nike since 2011, Kaepernick re-signed with the company, which made him the face and voice for their 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign.

After this whole deal went public, some who disagreed with the decision took to social media to burn their Nike apparel and shoes in protest. However, within 24 hours, the campaign created nearly $43 million in “buzz” for the company and stocks have continued to rise.