Kaepernick Campaign Created $43 Million in Nike Buzz

The controversy surrounding Nike Inc.’s new Colin Kaepernick ad is a surprise to no one. And in spite of the backlash, it’s probably pretty good for the brand. In less than 24 hours since Kaepernick first revealed the spot on Twitter, Nike received more than $43 million worth of media exposure, the vast majority of it neutral to positive, according to Apex Marketing Group. That far outweighs the risk of alienating some customers, said Bob Dorfman, a sports marketing executive at Baker Street Advertising.

The campaign is just the first step in Nike’s new partnership with Kaepernick, an extension of a deal he’s had with the company since he entered the NFL in 2011. The ad features his face along with the slogan, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Kaepernick hasn’t been on a roster since 2016, after he started kneeling for the national anthem to protest racism and police brutality in the U.S.

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The company also knows its customers. Two-thirds are younger than 35, and it’s an ethnically diverse consumer base, according to NPD Group.

As part of the new campaign, the company plans to release a Kaepernick-inspired shoe and t-shirt and will donate money to the quarterback’s “Know Your Rights” educational campaign, according to the New York Times.

The quarterback is currently suing the league, accusing its owners of colluding to keep him out of the league. Last week an arbitrator said Kaepernick had enough evidence to take the suit to trial.

The NFL has responded by saying it is committed to “dialogue, understanding and unity.”

“The social justice issues that Colin and other professional athletes have raised deserve our attention and action,” the league said in a statement.

This Is You At The US Open, Serena

Have you ever wanted to see how a young Serena Williams played tennis? Spoiler alert: She was remarkable even then and Nike has the footage to prove it.

A new Nike advertisement shows Williams taking to the tennis court, long before became an international tennis champion. She was nine years old in the footage, according to ESPN reporter Darren Rovell.

Williams’ father, Richard Williams, provides the voice-over, encouraging his daughter to be her best.

“This is you at the U.S. Open,” Richard says to his young, focused daughter as she bounces a tennis ball on a court in a home movie. When young Serena hits the ball, the video cuts to footage of the player at various years of the U.S. Open that she competed in.

The rest is enough to make your eyes sweat.

Nike Headquarters Names Building After Serena Williams

It has been one heck of a year for Serena Williams. She’s going to end it with a bang. Fifteen years after the tennis GOAT landed her first Nike sponsorship, she is getting her very-own building at the sportswear brand’s world headquarters.

 

 

Nike’s Serena Williams building is set to measure over one million square feet upon completion in 2019, making it the largest on its campus.

The 36-year-old new mom shared the news via Instagram, captioning her post: “What a year it has been. First a grand slam win followed by an awesome baby… then the most magical wedding. What next? How about a building!!… Nike announced yesterday that one of its new world headquarters buildings will be named after me. It will be the biggest on campus and is scheduled to open in 2019. I am honored and grateful! #TeamNike @nike”

“Serena Williams is one of the greatest athletes of all time, one of the most inspiring people in sport, and a dominating presence on and off the court,” Nike told Money. “She has won Wimbledon seven times, the US Open six times, and more Grand Slam tennis titles – 23 – than any man or woman in history.”

Today, the world’s highest-paid female athlete also teased a new shoe collaboration with the powerhouse, sporting sneakers boasting a glimmering gold heel and sole, paired with matching gold and white socks.

Here’s to an event better 2018, ‘Rena!

Ad Love: Nike Equality

Recently, the chief executive of Nike joined a string of top executives in slamming Donald Trump’s immigration ban, and  called the policy a threat to values that are at the multinational sports retailer’s core. Mark Parker said that Nike believes in a world where everyone celebrates the power of diversity.

“Regardless of whether or how you worship, where you come from or who you love, everyone’s individual experience is what make us stronger as a whole,” he wrote.“This is a policy we don’t support.”

The company has followed up with a new 90-second spot that “encourages people to take the fairness and respect they see in sport and translate them off the field,” according to a release. The ad features LeBron James, Serena Williams, Kevin Durant, Megan Rapinoe, Dalilah Muhammad, Gabby Douglas, and Victor Cruz. Actor Michael B. Jordan appears briefly and provides the ad’s voiceover. The soundtrack is a new recording of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” from Alicia Keys, who can also be seen in the spot.

The initiative “is centered on using Nike’s voice and the power of sport to inspire people to take action in their communities, with Nike leading by example with its recently announced partnerships with world-class organizations [PeacePlayers International and Mentor: The National Mentoring Partnership] dedicated to advancing this work.”

Nike has also announced plans to donate $5 million in 2017 to “numerous organizations that advance equality in communities across the U.S., including Mentor and PeacePlayers.”

Just do it, Y’all…

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Ad Love: Nike Are We Running Today?

The Apple Watch Nike+ is noisy. The moment people see it, they become immediately drawn to the bright yellow circles embellishing the watchband. It’s matched perfectly by a custom face that tries to motivate wearers with quick Nike-esque slogans like “Are We Running Today?”

The Apple Watch Nike+ is not subtle. It just isn’t designed to be. The ads which accompany the latest campaign to support the watch aren’t subtle either. I don’t know if a watch bullying me will get me to run (my guess is no). However, the spots are simplistically dope and may motivate!

 

Ad Love: Nike’s Unlimited Future

Life is harsh, it won’t coddle you, and there is no one to blame for the fact that you’ll face stuff you didn’t ask for and probably don’t deserve. But you can still decide the outcome of your own adventure, and sometimes knowing that makes the difference.

All of the above is at the heart of Nike’s recent, “Unlimited Future,” spot. Lebron James, Serena Williams and more star as the babies.

It takes the spirits of a gladiator to conquer. This as demonstrates that point and more. Check it out: