The sportswear brand caused something of a meltdown when it unveiled Kaepernick as the face of its 30th anniversary campaign, leading to angry reponses from both members of the public and certain high profile figures.
First the @NFL forces me to choose between my favorite sport and my country. I chose country. Then @Nike forces me to choose between my favorite shoes and my country. Since when did the American Flag and the National Anthem become offensive? pic.twitter.com/4CVQdTHUH4— Sean Clancy (@sclancy79) September 3, 2018
Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts. I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way? As far as the NFL is concerned, I just find it hard to watch, and always will, until they stand for the FLAG!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018
The San Francisco 49ers player outraged portions of the US by kneeling during the national anthem before games in order to protest police violence – a move later adopted by other players.
After his contract with the 49ers came to an end, other teams refused to sign him – effectively putting an end to his playing career.
In the two-minute film, created by Wieden & Kennedy, Kaepernick says: "If people say your dreams are crazy; if they laugh at what you think you can do: good. Stay that way. Because what non-believers fail to understand is that calling a dream crazy is not an insult - it's a compliment."
It features footage of leading athletes from sports including American football, soccer, basketball, tennis and wrestling. The stars featured include wheelchair basketball player Megan Blunk, and Isaiah Bird, a 10-year-old wrestler born without legs.
Industry figures praised Nike's conviction in choosing to work with Kaepernick.
Jem Fawcus, group chief executive of Firefish, said: "As an allegory for the fallout from the ad itself, the line: ‘Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything’ appears to contain double entendre. If Nike believe in this cause, which it certainly appears it does, then good for them.
"Nike is the world's largest supplier and manufacturer of athletic shoes, apparel and sports equipment. It can clearly afford to lose a few customers to potentially gain many more, dominate the global news agenda, and stand up for African American communities, who make up swathes of its market. If anyone wants to burn a sock, then fuck ‘em."