Nike has released its first commercial with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick as its new “Just Do It” spokesman.
The 2-minute spot, titled “Dream Crazy,” showcases an inspirational montage of athletes overcoming adversity to chase their dreams, with a voiceover by Kaepernick. He is also seen staring an image of the American flag in the ad. “Don’t ask if your dreams are crazy, ask if they’re crazy enough,” Kaepernick says at the end.
To some, Nike could be the ones considered “crazy” for having Kaepernick as the face of the campaign. The former NFL quarterback has become persona non-grata among some fans, as well as the Trump administration, for his kneeling during the national anthem, which sparked a wave of player protests.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 5, 2018
Nike lost about $3.75 billion in market cap after announcing Kaepernick as its new spokesperson. Market capitalization is the market value of a publicly traded company’s outstanding shares. Some online protesters even took to Twitter to shred their Air Jordans and other Nike gear to voice their opposition to the company’s decision.
But the ad that Nike put out on Wednesday, which was created by Nike’s longtime ad agency Wieden+Kennedy, is inspirational in nature.
One of the other athletes in the ad is Shaquem Griffin, a rookie for the Seattle Seahawks. Griffin’s story — he is an amputee with one hand — was one of the more inspirational storylines leading up to last spring’s NFL Draft. He was selected by the Seahawks in the fifth round and his brother, Shaquille, is on the team as well. Major Nike spokespeople Serena Williams and LeBron James are also featured prominently in the ad.
Nike unveiled the new “Just Do It” campaign over Labor Day weekend, tied to its 30th anniversary. “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt,” Kaepernick tweeted on Labor Day, echoing the words of the ad.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
Despite not playing a professional football since 2016, Kaepernick has remained a Nike athlete with the company paying the entire, according to ESPN reporter Darren Rovell.
Kaepernick gained notoriety in 2016 when he began kneeling during the national anthem before NFL games as a means of raising awareness and protesting racial inequality in America, and the shooting deaths of unarmed black men, women and children by police officers. After playing for the 49ers that season, Kaepernick has yet to be signed by another team.
Kaepernick brought a lawsuit against the NFL, accusing the league of colluding to keep him from being signed by any NFL team. Last week a court issued him a preliminary win in his case, essentially granting a full hearing on the dispute, according to The New York Times, despite the NFL’s efforts to sweep the issue under the rug.
President Donald Trump weighed in on the campaign on Tuesday, telling The Daily Caller that “I think it’s a terrible message that they’re sending and the purpose of them doing it, maybe there’s a reason for them doing it.”
Nike is the official uniform maker for the NFL and recently extended its contract through 2028. The NFL season is set to kick off Thursday night on NBC when the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles host the Atlanta Falcons. Nike will run the ad during the game, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
You can watch Nike’s commercial above.