According to ESPN Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell, ex-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick is the face of the 30th anniversary of Nike's "Just Do It" campaign. The announcement comes as the company unveiled shots (and inspirational slogans) for images that included Serena Williams, Odell Beckham Jr., and Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin:
According to Rovell, Nike had been paying Kaepernick "all along" in anticipation of revealing their deal with the ex-Niners signal caller at the "right moment":
SportsCenter quickly added that Kap had been a part of the company's endorsement team since they originally signed him in 2011, even though they'd opted not to use him publicly until now:
While Rovell's tweet doesn't exactly elaborate on what "the right moment" means, the campaign is being unveiled just three days prior to the 2018 NFL season's opening game, and also less than a week after Kaepernick won the summary judgment phase of his collusion case against the league. Also worth noting is that Nike is a corporate sponsor with the NFL who also happens to provide the league's official jerseys.
If Nike's aim was to draw as much attention as possible (good or bad), we'd say mission accomplished. Though Kaepernick's current place as the most polarizing athlete in the country will put the tired phrase of "no such thing as bad publicity" to the test for them, which was immediately evidenced by these reactionary tweets from both sides:
If someone out there ever finds a cool way to use social media, they'll be the first.