Sometimes Controversy Is The Best Publicity – Nike’s Brilliant Kaepernick Ad Campaign

No matter where you stand on Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the United States anthem, Nike’s latest strategy to be in the public eye has been nothing short of dazzling – the Oregon based athletic company’s stock initially dropped, then rebounded in the wake of the controversial announcement of its latest advertising campaign featuring Kaepernick.  The Oakland Press writes that Kaepernick already held a multi-year contract with Nike which was set to expire – what makes the choice of featuring him unique, most especially on billboards, aside from the strong negative sentiment against him, is that he is not currently with the NFL – he is a now a “former” football player due to his contentious actions.

Whether folks are protesting by boycotting, cutting logos out of their shirts, burning their sneakers, or just tweeting, this move demonstrates that even bad publicity can be effective. A flurry of memes on social media, some supportive, some darkly humorous, have only served to keep Kaepernick, and Nike, in the public eye.

According to The New York Times piece, Nike Returns to Familiar Strategy with Kaepernick Ad Campaign, “Nike has long relied on controversy in marketing an image of edgy youthfulness. The company had Charles Barkley declare that he was not a role model and Tiger Woods remind people that some country clubs would turn him away because of his skin color. It dressed the tennis player Andre Agassi in jean shorts.”

At RealDealDocs, our database holds documents from Nike as well as its numerous subsidiaries – here are 5 documents currently available:

1) Exhibit listing Nike Subsidiaries

2) Nike Non-Compete Agreement

3) Nike Employment Agreement

4) Nike Implementation Agreement

5) Nike Credit Agreement