In 2016 Colin Kaepernick began his campaign against racial inequality and police brutality, ‘taking a knee’ during the American national anthem at the start of National Football League (NFL) games. Kaepernick faced much criticism for his actions, which cost him his NFL career.
When Nike later decided to centre a major advertising campaign around Kaepernick’s activism, many wondered what impact it would have on Nike’s share value. As it turned out, Nike’s move was a profitable one: the controversy provided the company with a marketing reach far greater than it perhaps thought possible, resulting in higher year-on-year sales.
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