Game On for Nike and Kapaernick

We were on Game On on RTÉ 2FM last night discussing Nike’s latest campaign involving Colin Kapaernick.

The brand is celebrating the 30th anniversary of launching Just Do It as a campaign that has survived and thrived in the age of Hashtag marketing.

In order to create noise, and sales driving publicity they chose to endorse Kapaernick, the one time NFL quarterback who knelt during the playing of the national anthem, in protest at institutional racism and sparked a national outcry that has cost him his career and brought real anger to the cross between politics and sport in the US.

To be fair to Kapaernick, it was more Donald Trump that turned it into an America The Great standoff with claims that it was disrespectful to the flag, the country and those who lost their lives.

Now bring the military into a debate about respect in the US and you tread into very deep waters.

First Kapaernick himself, and now Nike have polarised opinion so that if you are younger and liberal you kneel with him, if you are older and conservative you stand against.

Rob Hartnett, Hugh Cahill and Gary Murphy discussed the nuance and the commercial logic around lining up on one of those sides.

You can listen back to what was said via the Game On Soundcloud site below.

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