Nike lost more than $3 billion in market capitalization immediately after their new ad campaign featuring former quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The “take a knee” campaign has been a rating disaster for the NFL, and now Nike owns it entirely. The ad campaign is part of Nike’s 30 years anniversary celebration of their “just do it” campaign.
Nike customers and stockholders are outraged. Social media is full of videos of customers burning Nike products and the stock price continues to drive.
The most offensive part of the campaign is the words themselves, which are printed on top of Kaepernick’s image: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
The problem is Kaepernick is not a military vet and has been on Nike’s payroll all along. He will make far more from this endorsement that he ever would have with the San Francisco 49ers.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
That’s on top of a $1 million book deal, television deals, media awards, and celebrity. This is not what sacrifice looks like.
But if anyone knows about sacrifice, it’s the widow of late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who was the basis of the hit 2014 movie, American Sniper.
Kyle’s senseless murder took place while he was helping veterans deal with PTSD deals. Kyle’s wife Taya was left without a husband and now raises their two children on her own. Kyle earned the Silver Star and four Bronze stars after four tours in the Iraq War. And now, Taya Kyle runs a foundation in her husband’s name, and she’s not happy about Nike’s Kaepernick ad.
Taya opined about Nike and Kaepernick, “Sacrificing what exactly? A career? At best, that is all Colin sacrificed … some money, and it’s debatable if he really lost his career over it.”
She added, “How about other warriors? Warriors who will not be on magazine covers, who will not get lucrative contracts and millions of followers from their actions and who have truly sacrificed everything,” Kyle asked. “They did it because they believed in something. Take it from me, when I say they sacrificed everything, they also sacrificed the lives of their loved ones who will never be the same. THAT is sacrificing everything for something they believe in.”
Here is what she had to say on Facebook:
“Nike, I love your gear, but you exhaust my spirit on this one. Your new ad with Colin Kaepernick, I get the message, but that sacrificing everything thing…. It just doesn’t play out here. Sacrificing what exactly? A career? I’ve done that both times I chose to stay home and be with my kids instead of continuing my business climb… and it wasn’t sacrificing everything. It was sacrificing one career and some money and it was because of what I believe in and more importantly, who I believe in.
At best, that is all Colin sacrificed… some money and it’s debatable if he really lost his career over it. Maybe he sacrificed the respect of some people while he gained the respect of others. Or maybe he used one career to springboard himself into a different career when the first was waning. I don’t know. What I do know is, he gained popularity and magazine covers he likely wouldn’t have gotten without getting on his knees or as you say, “believing in something.” I’m also thinking the irony is that while I am not privy to the numbers, it’s likely he gained a lucrative Nike contract. So yeah… that whole “sacrificing everything” is insulting to those who really have sacrificed everything.
You want to talk about someone in the NFL sacrificing everything? Pat Tillman. NFL STARTING, not benched, player who left to join the Army and died for it. THAT is sacrificing everything for something you believe in.
How about other warriors? Warriors who will not be on magazine covers, who will not get lucrative contracts and millions of followers from their actions and who have truly sacrificed everything. They did it because they believed in something. Take it from me, when I say they sacrificed everything, they also sacrificed the lives of their loved ones who will never be the same. THAT is sacrificing everything for something they believe in.
Did you get us talking? Yeah, you did. But, your brand recognition was strong enough. Did you teach the next generation of consumers about true grit? Not that I can see.
Taking a stand, or rather a knee, against the flag which has covered the caskets of so many who actually did sacrifice everything for something they believe in, that we all believe in? Well, the irony of your ad..it almost leaves me speechless. Were you trying to be insulting?
Maybe you are banking on the fact we won’t take the time to see your lack of judgment in using words that just don’t fit. Maybe you are also banking on us not seeing Nike as kneeling before the flag. Or maybe you want us to see you exactly that way. I don’t know. All I know is, I was actually in the market for some new kicks and at least for now, I’ve never been more grateful for Under Armour.”
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