Black Press Business/Economic Feature Week of September 27, 2018
The Nike campaign and collusion hearing could make Colin Kaepernick wealthier and get Americans talking. Though the Nike apparel company’s 30th anniversary ‘Just Do It’ campaign the nation can focus on issues that guide and divide us. Nike executives’ decision to use Kaepernick this unique way can help reignite discussions across the nation about social and racial inequality. Talk about “pride and “patriotism” is far afield of what the campaign and protests were actually about. Like so much in America when you’re dealing with issues that are about race, the message gets lost.
American controversy does two things well: divide people and generate revenue. In 2016 as quarterback for the National Football League’s San Francisco 49ers from 2011 to 2016 Colin Kaepernick, became known for protesting injustice toward Blacks by choosing to kneel on one knee rather than stand while the national anthem was being played. That act ignited a firestorm of negative responses that included suggestions that players who protest be fired; others displayed their disapprovals by leaving the stadium immediately after protests or refusing to watch games at all.
Through it all, Kaepernick has become a world-wide symbol for the aggrieved. In November 2017, Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL and its owners, accusing them of colluding to not hire him. In 2018, Amnesty International awarded Kaepernick with their Ambassador of Conscience award. Kaepernick is set to receive Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois medal “in recognition of contributions to African and African American culture and life.
Nike should be praised for the ads. 1One Wall Street analyst is calling the move “genius” and a “sign of strength.” “We believe Nike’s ad campaign was a stroke of genius,” wrote stock analyst Camilo Lyon to his Wall Street clients. Lyon reasons that the campaign “struck an emotional chord with people that incite conversation.” He deems it “courageous” that Nike “took a stance on a social issue”, and said it spoke to Nike customers “in a way that shows it understands them and issues that matter to them.” Lastly, the ad campaign strengthened ties with Nike-sponsored athletes. “To us, this premeditated move was a subtle but significant sign of Nike’s strength and confidence in its position in the marketplace.”
This issue continues to divide fans and vex owners. But, surely Blacks support Nike’s actions to: “Believe in something: Even if it means sacrificing everything.” The Nike apparel, footwear and sports equipment company is estimated to earn over $36 billion in 2018. To wrought that some Mainstream members tweeted images of Nike shoes being burned; while others praised the brand for supporting Kaepernick’s protests against racial injustice. In addition, Nike signed Kaepernick to a new multiyear endorsement deal.
Who qualifies more as Blacks’ “Company of the Year” than Nike, Inc. an American multinational corporation engaged in the design, development, manufacturing, and worldwide marketing and sales of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories, and services? The company is run by Phil Knight headquartered near the Portland metropolitan area It’s time we saw Nike in a better light. Nike’s favorability has declined among millennials, Democrats and African Americans. High-profile athletes and celebrities are speaking out in support of Nike and Kaepernick, including tennis star Serena Williams, and Kanye West, an endorser of Nike rival Adidas.
Colin Rand Kaepernick was born November 3, 1987, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was just weeks old when he was adopted by White couple Rick and Teresa Kaepernick. Currently Colin is worth $20 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.1:
Nike made $15 billion in 2017. In spite of the controversy, Nike still has a partnership with the NFL providing teams with game-day uniforms and apparel that runs through 2028,
William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via Busxchng@his.com0