Nike Planned Marketing Material Around Kaepernick-NFL Workout
Nike did not film Colin Kaepernick's workout on Saturday, but it did have a "marketing move up its sleeve -- in the form of a branded congratulations" for Kaepernick following the session, according to Ian Mohr of the N.Y. POST. The marketing material "consists of a letter that Kaepernick himself penned back in 4th grade" when he "dreamed of having a job in the NFL." The copy reads, "A Note from Colin Kaepernick, 4th Grade," followed by "kid's hand-writing in pencil." The letter by young Kaepernick is signed, "Sincerely, Colin." It then has the "Just Do It" tagline, and a list of all the teams that were to be at the NFL's workout. But it is "now unclear" if/how Nike will "use the 4th grade letter in its materials" following Kaepernick's decision to change the workout's venue less than an hour before the start of the session. Kaepernick during the workout "debuted a pair of Nike Air Force 1s on the field," which he "created for the brand." A Nike rep declined comment (N.Y. POST, 11/18).
DEEP DIVE: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Andrew Beaton notes the NFL on Saturday "issued a blistering public attack" on Kaepernick for moving the workout, and "suggested Nike was involved in how things had played out." The NFL said, "Nike, with Colin's approval, requested to shoot an ad featuring Colin and mentioning all the NFL teams present at the workout." But Nike "quickly rebutted" the league's statement. A source said that Nike was "caught off guard and 'confused' for being called out" by the NFL. Rather, the company had "asked for permission to use the names of NFL teams that were attending the workout in potential content pegged to the event" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/18). Nike, which works with both Kaepernick and the NFL, was "all set to run an advertisement featuring the quarterback." But "unlike the 'Dream Crazy' commercial that ran" during the league's opening telecast last season, the NFL "approved this one." Still, the ad "did not run" Saturday afternoon as planned (N.Y. TIMES, 11/17). A Nike spokesperson said that the company "did not have a camera crew on the ground in Atlanta and had no plans to use footage from Kaepernick's workout." The spokesperson "wouldn't say when, or whether, the ad would come out, but it seems Nike only wanted permission to use NFL team names" (TWITTER.com, 11/16).