When A Brand Takes A Stand
ADWEEK|September 10, 2018

Nike started the conversation. How will the NFL respond?

Diana Pearl

Nike’s marketing has historically started conversations about tough subjects from ageism to Title IX and HIV. And its 30th-anniversary celebration of its “Just do it” tagline doesn’t stray from that tradition. The brand’s black-and-white, close-up photo of football player Colin Kaepernick, with the words “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” and the two-minute spot that ran during the first game of the NFL season ignited a social media firestorm.

In featuring Kaepernick, one of the most influential—and contentious— sports figures today, particularly with copy that shows a definitive display of support for him, Nike puts itself at odds with the NFL , an organization it has a partnership with until 2028. And to add fuel to the fire, Nike didn’t give the NFL a heads up about the Kaepernick ad, according to ESPN.

“Nike has a long-standing relationship with the NFL and works extensively with the league on all campaigns that use current NFL players and its marks,” said Sandra Carreon John, a spokesperson for Nike. “Colin is not currently employed by an NFL team and has no contractual obligation to the NFL or its marks.”

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM ADWEEKView All

Whole Foods' Will Chau Has Had A Scrappy Path

The path of Whole Foods Market’s global director of creative and branding has been a scrappy one.

3 mins read
ADWEEK
March 4, 2019

This Is Your Brain On Marketing

Brands toy with sensors to better understand their customers.

3 mins read
ADWEEK
March 4, 2019

The Barbie Doll

On the eve of her 60th birthday, a look at. America's most primped, perfect and polarizing plaything.

3 mins read
ADWEEK
February 25, 2019

Marketing Needs To Be Inclusive

Diversity efforts must be authentic and go further than checking off a box.

3 mins read
ADWEEK
February 25, 2019

OMD

The agency clawed it's way back to the top by making ‘better decisions, faster’.

6 mins read
ADWEEK
February 25, 2019

Meet The New Broadcast TV Chiefs

After taking over last fall at ABC, FOX, and NBC, these four execs are ready to reveal their strategies.

6 mins read
ADWEEK
February 25, 2019

Initiative

Today’s media agencies face a new slew of challenges, as more clients slash budgets, issue RFPs and take everything in-house, from planning to programmatic. But clients aren’t the only ones making big changes. Both OMD and Initiative bounced back from challenging years with strategic pivots, picking up new business from brands like Daimler Mercedes, Liberty Mutual, Revlon and the U.S. Army. Breakthrough network Essence transcended its reputation as Google’s digital resource to score new partnerships with BP, Peloton, T-Mobile and more while doubling its headcount and adding 11 offices around the world. On the work front, these shops proved their media mettle with headlining campaigns for Amazon, McDonald’s, Target, USA Network … and who could forget the International House of Burgers? Read on to find out why these three earned Adweek’s Media Agency of the Year honors

5 mins read
ADWEEK
February 25, 2019

Essence

A strong vision and a key investment from holding company WPP Fueled an incredible year.

5 mins read
ADWEEK
February 25, 2019

Eryk Rich

Deutsch’s Head Of Music Straddles The Record And Advertising Industries.

2 mins read
ADWEEK
February 25, 2019

Agencies Scramble Over OTT

Investment teams try to get up to speed while they educate clients.

3 mins read
ADWEEK
February 25, 2019
RELATED STORIES

Money, It's Gotta Be the Shoes

Young resellers are wringing profits out of everything from the latest Yeezys to outlet-store leftovers—and turning sneakers into a bona fide asset class

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 01, 2021

If You Want to Know What Stock Is Set To Skyrocket, There Are Options

WHAT DO NIKE INC., Raven Industries, and Fortinet Inc. have in common? They exemplify the predictive capacities the options market offers: Recent stock price spikes were preceded by certain telltale signs in the options market, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Use the terminal to generate ideas for enhancing your portfolio and profit from ever-changing option trading trends.

3 mins read
Bloomberg Markets
February - March 2021

March to Washington

Nikema Williams isn’t as well known as Stacey Abrams, but the woman who will fill John Lewis’ seat represents a different—and formidable— kind of power.

8 mins read
Mother Jones
January/February 2021

It's a V. It's a Baa. It's a Swoosh

From the prosaic to the poetic, economists vie to define the shape of the recovery

3 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
December 28 - January 04, 2021

sweat suit

YOUR MUSCLES DESERVE BETTER THAN YOUR RATTY OLD WORKOUT GEAR. DECK YOURSELF OUT IN THE RIGHT DUDS AND YOU’LL UPGRADE BOTH YOUR PERFORMANCE AND YOUR STYLE.

1 min read
Popular Science
Winter 2020

Nothing But The Hits – Darien Birks Pivots From Nike

The stylistic, pop illustrations of Darien Birks had us hooked before we even learned of his many influential years as art director at Nike.

7 mins read
JUXTAPOZ
Winter 2021

Can Nike's Anti-Racism Ads Just Do It in Japan?

Its social justice playbook worked in the U.S. but may not translate to a less diverse nation

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
December 14, 2020

PB Picks: Mother's Day

Give Mom (or yourself ) a spa-like experience at home with Soon Skincare!

2 mins read
Palm Beach Parenting
May 2020

Arts & Crafts

VIRGIL ABLOH did it again, creating yet another masterpiece with Jordan Brand.

2 mins read
Slam
May - June 2020

Virus Impact: Automakers Look At Restarting China Operations

Automakers are considering whether to resume operations in China amid efforts to contain a virus outbreak, but the impact is spreading for many other companies.

2 mins read
Techlife News
February 8, 2020