Reports have come in that the iconic Nike ad featuring Colin Kaepernick was in no small part due to none other than basketball star LeBron James. Nike co-founder Phil Knight has recalled a conversation he had with LeBron while speaking at Stanford.
James told Knight about own sons learning to drive and his fear that they might be shot by police if they were pulled over. “I thought of the top hundred worries I have, and that doesn’t make my list,” Knight said. “That was a real eye-opener.”
Knight was uneasy about running an ad with Kaepernick (his decision to kneel during the US national anthem in protest of police shootings of black Americans was highly controversial), but this conversation with James helped sway him in favour.
Knight leveraged his position within Nike to lobby for the ad. He said: “It doesn’t matter how many people hate your brand as long as enough people love it.”
Check out the original ad here.