Kaepernick initially revealed he would be the face of the 30th anniversary of Nike’s “Just Do It” tagline on Twitter on Sept. 3.
Despite early signs of it potentially becoming a PR disaster, it has been extremely successful so far with chief executive Mark Parker revealing executives felt “very good” and “very proud” about the campaign.
“It’s resonated… quite strongly with consumers, obviously here in North America, but also around the world,” Parker told analysts in a conference call Tuesday, as per BBC. “Like many campaigns, it’s driving a real uptick in traffic and engagement, both socially as well as commercially.”
“How we look at it is how do we connect and engage in a way that’s relevant and inspiring to the consumers that we’re here to serve,” he added. “Our brand strength … is a key dimension that contributes to the ongoing momentum that we’re building across the Nike portfolio.”
Kaepernick, of course, was the first footballer to kneel during the national anthem during 2016 preseason games in protest against racial inequality and violence, and has divided America since.
While many have praised him for standing up for his beliefs, others, such as President Donald Trump have criticized him for disrespecting the national anthem, the flag as well as the troops. He has notably been unsigned by an NFL team after opting out of his San Francisco 49ers contract the following year, later resulting in him filing a lawsuit against the league for collusion.
And so, when the campaign was unveiled, plenty made their feelings heard by threatening boycotts and posting videos of themselves burning their Nike apparel and shoes. In addition, Nike’s shares also dropped roughly 3 percent to $79.75, leading many to believe endorsing Kaepernick was a grave error.