How Big A Role Did Serena Have In Colin Kaepernick Scoring A New Nike Campaign?
Monday, September 3, 2018 at 06:15PM
NYSportsJournalism.com in Ad Campaigns, Colin Kaepernick, NFL, Nike, Serena Williams, ad campaiogns, sports marketing

By Barry Janoff

September 3, 2018: Colin Kaepernick, known more these days for his role as a catalyst for social change than as a NFL quarterback, will be part of an upcoming Nike “Just Do It” 30th anniversary campaign.

Kaepernick shared the news on his Instagram and Twitter accounts on Labor Day.

He posted a photo showing a close-up of his face imprinted with the text, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt.”

The post on Twitter had 47,000 retweets and almost 105,500 likes.

On Instagram, the ad received more than 191,000 likes.

Kaepernick last played in the NFL during the 2016 season with the San Francisco 49ers, when he started a league-wide movement of players kneeling during the National Anthem to protest racial and other injustices in the U.S.

One of his biggest supporters has been Serena Williams, who is one of Nike’s major endorsers and also will appear as part of the 30th anniversary campaign.

Others in the new "Just Do It" effort include LeBron James, NFL wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Seattle Seahawks rookie linebacker Shaquem Griffin.

Kaepernick will also have a signature line including shoes, shirts and jerseys.

Kaepernick and Eric Reid, a former teammate who also knelt during the National Anthem, were both at the U.S. Open last week to watch Serena play Venus Williams, and received support from Serena.

“Every athlete, every American and definitely every African American should be completely grateful for and honor that Colin and Eric are doing so much for the greater good,” Williams said during her post-match press conference. “They really use their platform in ways that is really unfathomable.

“I feel like they obviously have great respect from a lot of their peers, especially other athletes, people that really are looking for social change.”

During an interview with Time magazine in early August, Williams praised Kaepernick’s actions and even said that if signed he could league a team to a Super Bowl, as he did with the Niners in Super Bowl XLVII (February 2013), where the team lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 34-31.

Williams is a minority owner of the Miami Dolphins.

Earlier this year, Williams donated $10,000 to Imagine L.A., which aids homeless people, as part of Kaepernick’s goal to raise $1 million for the foundation.

Kaepernick’s Twitter account has a photo of Serena in action on the court with the words, “The Greatest!!”

Kaepernick is suing the NFL claiming teams colluded to keep him out of the league. The NFL has denied collusion as the reason for Kaepernick not being signed by any team in the league,

He has been official Nike endorser since 2011, but has not been part of an official Nike effort for several years.

In 2014, he appeared with a group of other quarterbacks, including Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck as part of the Nike Field Generals Collection campaign.

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