Is Nike Really In Trouble? Nike's "Dream Big" Campaign Sparks Controversy

Nike’s “Dream Big” campaign sparks controversy

This past September, Nike released their new “Dream Big” campaign ad starring Ex-NFL star, Colin Kaepernick. This campaign sparked a great deal of debate and shed a controversial light  on the company. Social media erupted with videos of Nike Apparel being burned and endless rants about the brand. While some people think this ad will be the undoing of the company, Nike shouldn’t be too worried, as many others have come to the company’s defense.

“There is definitely people out there who are taking it to an extreme level and ruining their clothing and such,” A junior at Fair Lawn High School said. “But there are also definitely people who don’t care as well and will proceed to buy Nike products.”

Nike is one of biggest athletic clothing brands in the world. Their famous “swoosh” logo is seen virtually everywhere, either on billboards or on the shirts, shorts, and shoes of the biggest athletes in the world. However, this famous symbol now risks becoming a logo of controversy.

The company faced some backlash when, in early September, it announced that Colin Kaepernick was chosen to be the new face of the company. Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, has been out of the league for about two years now following  the controversy sparked for kneeling during the National Anthem.

“I didn’t expect it,” a Fair Lawn High School student said. “I think they [Nike] also have a big voice and they’re also using it for good.”

Kaepernick, 31, has been featured in Nike’s “Dream Crazy” ad to commemorate  the 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” slogan. Many have taken to social media by either expressing that they will boycott Nike products or, in some more extreme cases, by filming themselves burning their Nike apparel. This backlash has some people assuming that Nike is losing business and consumers, but that isn’t the case in this situation.

“I think Nike’s decision has had an impact on people in many ways,” Garrett Van Curen, an English teacher at Fair Lawn High School, said. “Colin Kaepernick is using an enormous  venue to make a statement that he feels would be impactful. There are many people who respond positively to that decision.”

According to a recent poll by Ace Metrix, 13% of surveyed consumers said they were less likely to purchase Nike apparel after watching the ad. However, a staggering 56% said they were more likely to purchase Nike apparel after seeing the ad.

“For those who really disagree with his actions, his collaboration with Nike might prevent people from buying brands from stores,” said a junior at Fair Lawn High School. “I still buy Nike apparel. Nike may have collaborated with him, but that’s not what they are all about, so I’m not going to go out of my way to not buy from them or anything.”

Thumbnail Credit: Katie Canales/Business Insider

Header Credit: Colin Kaepernick via Twitter

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Christopher Vaccaro, Fair Lawn High School

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