Nike’s bold decision to make Colin Kaepernick the face of its “Just Do It” 30th anniversary marketing campaign already has sparked heated (and expected) dialog.
But what exactly does Kaepernick’s new deal with Nike entail?
We now have some idea thanks Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson, who provided a few interesting nuggets shortly after the news broke of Kaepernick’s deal Monday night.
Per Robinson, Kaepernick will have his own exclusive Nike clothing line, complete with shoes, apparel and more. And even though he hasn’t played an NFL snap since 2016, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is making millions per year in his new deal, according to Robinson.
Why is Nike paying an unemployed player so much money? In a column posted late Monday night, Robinson reported that multiple shoe companies, including Adidas and Puma, were considering signing Kaepernick to an endorsement deal if Nike didn’t retain him.
Nike had been paying Kaepernick under an old endorsement deal for several years but had been relatively inactive in marketing him, leading some to wonder whether the apparel company would let that deal, which was set to end this past spring, simply run out. But Nike made a “somewhat unexpected” commitment to keep Kaepernick in the spring, per Robinson, keeping other companies at bay until it revealed Monday’s grand plans.
Kaepernick sparked an NFL movement in the 2016 preseason when he refused to stand during the national anthem in protest of social inequality and police violence against minorities in America. He hasn’t been able to find an NFL job since and filed a collusion case against the NFL and team owners in October 2017.
The 30-year-old now is one of the most polarizing figures in all of sports: the fearless leader of a crucial movement to some; an unpatriotic, anti-military phony to others. It appears Nike is betting heavily that Kaepernick will drive sales for those in the former camp.
UPDATE (11:28 a.m. ET): We may have to temper expectations regarding Kaepernick’s new Nike apparel, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images