Colin Kaepernick’s Nike poster upset some conservatives. Just wait until they watch the full video.
The “Dream Crazy” ad is about rewriting athletes’ narratives. But the apparel giant is also rewriting how large corporations can avoid political fumbles.
By appealing to its core demographic (athletes) without regard for the political response, Nike is flexing its corporate muscles and showing it has nothing to fear from sneaker-burning Chads posting Twitter videos and threatening to never buy Nike again. They’ve already made enough money to offset those torched LeBrons and scissored socks.
Nike can’t lose. Anything they lose from boycotts will be gained back through positive press. This campaign reminds people of the size of Nike’s influence. And, though it shouldn’t, it will undoubtedly distract from bad press about Nike’s dubious employment ethics.
Kaepernick, meanwhile, has become an international icon. He’s become the face of the fight against American crisis of police violence. Partnering with Nike increases his visibility as his legal battle with NFL owners is set to begin. And which apparel company holds NFL licensing rights? You guessed it: Nike.
Media decries athletes for making too much money, not winning enough and talking politics. These accusations have always been absurd. Nike was just smart enough to realize that absurdity and turn them around for a profit.