Nike recently released a new advertisement featuring controversial former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The advertisement features a full image of Kaepernick’s face with the quote, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything,” in front of the image.
Unsurprisingly, the ad has generated plenty of controversy, with some people vowing never to buy Nike products again. Others are immediately going out and buying more.
The ad itself is over the top, but that’s by design. The ad, it seems, was intentionally designed to garner different reactions from people on both sides of the political spectrum.
It’s designed to make those who support Kaepernick emboldened and energized to support Nike. If you think the former NFL quarterback will never take another snap again because he is being punished for standing up to the system, then Nike is your new sports apparel supplier.
The latest trend to resist President Donald Trump will then be to buy as many Nike products as possible.
If you think that Kaepernick is a terrible quarterback and an even worse political figure, who hasn’t sacrificed a thing in his life, then this ad is going to anger you. You will denounce Nike, letting everyone know it is anti-American. This, in turn, motivates the people across the aisle from you even more to buy their apparel.
Despite what the political right has been saying for the past week, Nike is not “anti-American.” It is simply exploiting a large market of leftists who are craving public statements like this to tick off the president of the United States and anyone else on the right thin-skinned enough to be bothered by this minuscule ad. Nike doesn’t have a dog in the fight; it just wants to make money.
Has it worked? You bet your bottom dollar it has. Nike has seen a 10 percent customer increase, and the corporation’s sales have increased by 31 percent. For all the right’s claims of financial ruin, Nike has prospered from this stunt.
The sad truth is that being political is an easy way to make a quick buck in today’s society. Each side is willing and, nowadays, expected to support organizations that validate its opinion as a way to beat the other side.
For Nike, it’s not politics; it’s business.