In honor of Nike’s 30th-anniversary commemoration of its iconic “Just Do It” campaign, Nike released a commercial featuring former NFL star Colin Kaepernick, a move that proved to be risky in more ways than one.
After the commercial aired back in September of 2018, Nike was hit with some intense backlash. Some even went as far as to burning their Nike shoes to show their outrage and the hashtag #NikeBoycott was born.
Fast forward a year later and Nike’s “Dream Crazy” campaign featuring the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is now the winner of the Creative Arts Emmy Award for “outstanding commercial,” according to CNN. It’s the first time Nike has taken home the award since 2002.
Nike's "Dream Crazy" commercial featuring Colin Kaepernick has won an Emmy https://t.co/OZXq3Bcjrr
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 16, 2019
The ad, which features other prominent athletes such as Serena Williams and LeBron James, Kap narrates an inspiring message about the power of dreaming big and encourages fans to “believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
The commercial came two years after Kaepernick chose not to stand for the national anthem during a 2016 NFL preseason game in protest to racial injustice. As the controversy grew around Kap’s actions, the NFL’s television’s ratings fell and Kaepernick in-turn was blackballed from the league.
Donald Trump weighed in on the ad tweeting that Nike was “getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts.”
Nike gained tens of thousands of Instagram followers after announcing the campaign and the company’s stock hit an all-time high.
Kaepernick’s Nike campaign wasn’t the last socially aware campaign to come from the shoemaker.
Last week, the NBA’s Toronto Raptors revealed a new team-branded Nike Pro Hijab for Muslim women athletes on Twitter.
“Inspired by those brave enough to change the game,” the tweet said.
Inspired by those brave enough to change the game.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) September 13, 2019
Kaepernick has been out of the NFL since the end of 2016 but continues his activism efforts through various programs and events across the country.
In February, [him] and former teammate, Eric Reid, settled a lawsuit alleging that the NFL had colluded to keep him off the field for their political activism.