Colin Kaepernick, Nike & Dreaming Crazy
Keywords:Nike, Colin Kaepernick, Dream Crazy, case study, brand activism, media framing, hegemony, racial capitalism
This paper examines the aftermath of Nike’s advertising campaign “Dream Crazy”, featuring polarizing ex-NFL player Colin Kaepernick. Nike’s choice to feature Kaepernick was a groundbreaking one, as Kaepernick was at the forefront of the Black Lives Matter movement. However it was also contradictory, in terms of it being driven by achieving profits and brand recognition. “Dream Crazy”' was also hypocritical when contrasted with Nike’s previous brand actions, proving that their actions were more disingenuous than they appeared. This paper uses theoretical concepts such as media framing, hegemony and racial capitalism and applies a case study approach to the launching of “Dream Crazy” to evaluate Nike’s actions as a brand. Through this analysis, it is found that despite appearing as a brand siding with advocating for justice, Nike’s actions are more self-serving, rather than selfless. Compared and contrasted with other brands, it is made evident that Nike capitalized on Kaepernick’s activism. As more and more brands adopt activism as a marketing tactic, it is integral that they remain sincere with their actions, as power dynamics have shifted from corporation to consumer.
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