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Nike takes a stand by making Colin Kaepernick face of new campaign

Kaepernick’s deal includes a potential shoe and apparel line, as well as Nike donations to his Know Your Rights organization.

Nike takes a stand by making Colin Kaepernick face of new campaign

Days before the new NFL season kicks off later this week, Colin Kaepernick announced his new Nike deal by tweeting out a simple–and stunning–new ad on Monday afternoon.

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The ad is part of Nike’s 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign, that kicked off last week with an ad featuring Serena Williams. According to the Associated Press, Kaepernick will feature on new billboards, TV commercials, and online ads, and Nike will also be launching an apparel line for Kaepernick and contribute to his Know Your Rights charity. Kaepernick had previously been signed to a Nike endorsement deal, which was set to expire before this renewal, a deal the AP source puts in the top bracket of NFL players with Nike.

The ad and Kaepernick’s new deal comes out only days before the new football season kicks off, another in which Kaepernick isn’t playing, but also just a few months after Nike and the NFL extended their own deal until 2028. The league and its owners have been awkwardly dealing with the fallout of the kneeling protests since Kaepernick started it more than a year ago. While the NFL hasn’t responded just yet to the new ad, plenty of others have weighed in online in both support and protest, with the ad trending across social media almost as soon as Kaepernick tweeted it.

It’s not the first time Nike has waded into social commentary. Last year it launched an ad starring LeBron James, Serena Williams, Kevin Durant, and more that addressed the challenges of equality and opportunity.

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More to follow.

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About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.

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