The ad, called "Dream Crazy", features Kaepernick and other sports stars such as tennis star Serena Williams and National Basketball Association star LeBron James, urging viewers to "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything".
"In their new ad campaign, we believe Nike executives are promoting an attitude of division and disrespect toward America", said College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis. Kaepernick said he was protesting police shootings of African-American men and other social injustices in the United States.
An onslaught of critical tweets from President Trump has turned the protests into a political battle, with the National Football League - a major partner of Nike - stuck in the middle.
Joique Bell, former Detroit Lion running back, speaks about the new Nike ad featuring Colin Kaepernick as Social Club Grooming Company owner Sebastian Jackson trims his beard in Detroit, Wednesday, September 5, 2018. Younger Americans are said to strongly support Kaepernick's protest, and they are the biggest consumers of Nike products.
"The thing that fired me up the most, that got me motivated to put the sign up and the sale was the last two words of their add, 'sacrificed everything, '" Martin explained. Nagel said that the company is trying "to make some noise" in the industry via its athletes and their stories, regardless of any political leanings, according to MarketWatch.
"So we've had guys "do it" through sports, but Kaepernick is a guy doing it right now, so I think it's a great pairing with Nike and him".
While Kaepernick is not an active player for the league, he has almost two million Twitter followers and his jersey was still the 39th best-seller in last year's season.
Apex Marketing Group estimated that in less than 24 hours since news arrived of Kaepernick's inclusion, Nike had received more than $43 million worth of media exposure, the vast majority of it neutral to positive. That policy also says teams will be fined if players are on the field and "do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem". "I stand with anyone who believes in change".