Nike makes Colin Kaepernick the face of 'Just Do It' 30th anniversary campaign

Nike announced former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick will be a part of its new ad campaign. (AP)
Nike announced former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick will be a part of its new ad campaign. (AP)

Surely there will be a calm, rational, well reasoned response to this story.

Nike revealed, through ESPN’s Darren Rovell, that it is making Colin Kaepernick the face of its “Just Do It” 30th anniversary ad campaign.

The initial image, announced through Rovell, has a close up of Kaepernick’s face with the caption: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Nike and NFL have a significant business relationship

The NFL season will start Thursday, and Kaepernick remains unsigned. That whole story makes the Kaepernick-Nike alliance a bit more interesting.

Kaepernick recently won the summary judgment phase of his collusion case against the NFL, which indicated arbitrator Stephen Burbank felt there was enough merit in the arguments and evidence produced by Kaepernick’s lawyers to warrant a trial in the case. It was a loss for the NFL, which has claimed there was no collusion to keep Kaepernick out of the league, although dozens of less-qualified quarterbacks have signed with teams since Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to bring attention to social issues.

Nike is a corporate sponsor with the NFL. They provide the official jerseys for the league that Kaepernick is trying to beat in a collusion case.

Colin Kaepernick will draw emotional responses on both sides

The Kaepernick-Nike campaign has actually been a while in the making, according to Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson.

It’s an interesting decision for Nike. No other athlete produces the same emotional response as Kaepernick. Some will rip Nike and claim they’ll never buy their products again. Others who support Kaepernick will gladly shift their dollars to Nike for its support of the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, who is viewed as a hero to many for standing up for social issues even if it meant the NFL ultimately would freeze him out.

If Nike wanted the maximum attention possible for its new advertising campaign, mission accomplished.

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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