Following the announcement that it signed former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick to a controversial sponsorship deal, Nike’s stock was down in opening Tuesday trading.
A print advertising campaign features a black-and-white close up photo of Kaepernick with the graphic: “Believe in something. Even it means sacrificing everything. Just Do It.”
The marketing campaign is part of a 30-year anniversary of its iconic “Just Do It” advertising tagline.
The new NFL season starts this Thursday. Nike’s stock dropped 2.5% to $80.14 on Tuesday.
In 2016, Kaepernick began kneeling during the playing of the national anthem before NFL games to protest racial injustice. He was followed by other NFL players. After much of the controversy had died down, President Trump weighed in. He declared that NFL players should be fired for not standing during the anthem -- which ramped up the protests.
The former San Francisco 49er quarterback opted out of his contract with the team in March 2017; he hasn't signed with a new team since. Later, he filed a collusion grievance against the NFL, claiming he was being kept out of the league because of the protests.
The NFL instituted a rule that players on the field need to stand during the national anthem, starting with this year’s season. If they don’t want to stand, they can stay in the locker room during its playing.
Over the last year -- August 2017 to August 2018 -- Nike spent $60.2 million national TV advertising, according to iSpot.tv