Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday’s Mashup: Nike almost dropped Colin Kaepernick before partnering on anniversary campaign

Lucy Burdge
September 27, 2018 - 7:45 am

Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire

MLB: NY Yankees at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Philadelphia at Colorado, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Pittsburgh at Chicago Cubs, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Texas at Seattle, 11 p.m. (MLB Network)
NFL: Minnesota at LA Rams, 8:30 p.m. (Fox, NFL Network)


-- Nike’s anniversary campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick almost didn’t happen.

According to a report from the New York Times, Nike executives considered dropping their sponsorship of Kaepernick in the summer of 2017 because he was not on a team roster and endorsing him would hurt Nike’s relationship with another company partner, the NFL.

The report says Nike marketers decided to cancel the contract with Kaepernick but, fearing backlash, the company's chief communications officer, Nigel Powell stepped in and kept the sponsorship of the former 49ers quarterback.

Then the company’s ad agency, Wieden and Kennedy, encouraged Nike to make Kaepernick the face of its 30th anniversary "Dream Crazy" campaign, which was released on September 3. The two-minute video, narrated by Kaepernick, got more than 26 million times on YouTube, however some backlash ensued and Nike’s shares dropped 3 percent on September 4.

Nike CEO Mark Parker said on Tuesday he and other company executives are proud of the partnership and of the ad. He also announced a 10 percent rise in revenue to $9.95 billion for Nike and a 15 percent jump in profit to $1.1 billion in its first quarter.

So it looks like the whole thing has been worth it for Nike. So far, at least.

-- O.J. Simpson has commented on the Bill Cosby verdict and is worried about the safety of the disgraced comedian in prison.

A reporter caught up with Simpson while he was out golfing in Nevada and Simpson said he is concerned about some “nut” attacking Cosby behind bars. Cosby was sentenced to 3 to 10 years in prison on Tuesday after being convicted of 3 counts of aggravated indecent assault.

"The problem is the nature of the crime," O.J. said. "Rapists are frowned upon in prison."

He also thinks the punishment for Cosby is too severe.

"With his health and his age and the nature of the crime, there's not a warden in this country wants the responsibility of a Bill Cosby,” he said. “I think they should let him do his time under house arrest."

He then added, “I always feel you gotta honor the jury's verdict whatever that is.”

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "We've read every single one that's come in. You can't answer them. It's impossible. It's impossible to do. So that's the reason I'm here tonight, to pretty much say thank you to everybody for their support. It's been cards from eight years old to 90 years old. It's been incredible." -- Jerry Remy, on the support he’s received during his cancer treatment