Even though Colin Kaepernick hasn’t played football in years Nike announced that the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is one of the faces of its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign.
In September 2018, Nike shocked some and delighted others when it was revealed that Kaepernick was the brand ambassador for the sneaker and apparel company. The former NFL star tweeted out a photo of his ad with the caption that read, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
Kaepernick last played football in 2016 and has become a polarizing figure as he is the first athlete who took a knee during the national anthem in protest of police brutality. Following the news of his Nike deal, social media exploded with opinions about the choice and the shoe giant received some backlash. However, Nike believes the controversy surrounding Kaepernick’s ad campaign will have more of an upside and surely the brand doesn’t mind being a topic of conversation.
“We believe Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward,” said Gino Fisanotti, Nike’s vice president of brand for North America. “We wanted to energize its meaning and introduce ‘Just Do It’ to a new generation of athletes.”
Questions were also raised online about just how much the deal is worth. Here’s more on that and how much Kaepernick made playing in the NFL.
It’s been reported that Kaepernick initially signed with Nike in 2011 and was kept on the endorsement roster ever since even though the company did not use his image until now. “A lot behind the curtain here,” Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson tweeted. “This is actually a new deal done by Kaepernick’s reps. Nike sat on Kaepernick for 2 years w/ no idea what to do with him. Interest from other shoe companies absolutely changed their tune.”
So what’s this deal worth? Well, it’s huge and will pay him millions of dollars a year. Not only that, Kaepernick will have his own apparel line with the company as well.
“It’s wide endorsement. He’s going to have his own branded line. Shoes, shirts, jerseys, etc. There will be Kaepernick apparel,” Robinson reported. “Contract is a ‘star’ deal on par with a top end
#NFL player. Millions per year. Star deals also include royalties.”
Kaepernick became a free agent in March 2017 and later filed a grievance claiming that NFL owners colluded to keep him out of the league. In 2014, he signed a lucrative seven-year, $126 million contract with the Niners but how much of that did he actually earn during his playing days?
Celebrity Net Worth noted that he made about 31% of that. The former second-round pick played in the league for six seasons and his total earnings were $43,479,216, or about $7 million a year. Kaepernick currently has a net worth of $20 million.
Other athletes included in Nike’s 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign include Odell Beckham Jr., Serena Williams, and LeBron James.