Nike’s use of Kaepernick perhaps dumbest marketing of all time

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  • The NFL is still a money making machine.
  • It’s said that there is no such thing as bad PR.
  • Nike’s use of Kaepernick is at best a huge mistake.
  • It’s not about the first amendment, it’s about an individual whose deteriorating skills were masked by his social stand.

For all of Trump’s rage, the owners’ terror and their cowering responses, it turns out the NFL is just fine, financially. According to a report by the Green Bay Packers report, the amount of money the NFL distributed to teams grew from $7.8bn in 2016 to $8.1bn in 2017, meaning the league added to its estimated $14bn in overall revenue. This was a 5% increase and far from the great economic rot referenced by Trump.

The biggest proof that the league is far from failing, despite Trumps’s rants, came on Wednesday when Forbes released its latest rankings of the world’s most valuable sports franchises. Twenty-nine of the NFL’s 32 teams made the top 50 list, which was topped by the Dallas Cowboys, whose worth is estimated to be $4.8bn, more than double the $2bn Forbes valued the team at in 2013.

Enter Nike’s dumb move to use Kaepernick.

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Let me say that Kaepernick has a first amendment right to kneel. I say this as a veteran and registered voter. That being said, once you’re in the NFL for a while, other teams tend to figure you out and that’s what happened to Kaepernick. His last two years as a starting QB showed that his skills had eroded. Even so, the Denver Bronco’s offered him a $6 million contract and he turned it down. If he were a good starting QB teams would be knocking on his door trying to sign him. Instead, he chose to hide behind his “cause” while suddenly “becoming black”and growing his hair.

I love pro football and watch a lot of games, but what I don’t like about the NFL is that it’s become too violent and that some players are getting too much money. If a team signs a star, like the Bears did with Mack, to a golden contract they often don’t have the money to get other players and be competitive.

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What did Nike hope to accomplish by using Kaepernick? Do they really think it’s going to lead to more sales and customers or do they love the controversy?

I’m all for brands taking a stand on issues that affect us all but using such a divisive figure in ANY campaign is something that we just don’t need.

Originally published at www.newmediaandmarketing.com on September 4, 2018.

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Marketing contrarian with over 15 years of developing leading edge and award winning digital marketing initiatives.

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