Former NFL player Colin Kaepernick is the newest face of Nike's Just Do It campaign, a move which has divided opinion - and even caused some people to cut up their Nike clothes. "Over time, for Nike, we think the power of the messaging from this new broader campaign is apt to overshadow any potential backlash, near term, in our view", Nagel wrote.
Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.
But Nike is not the only company that got involved in a political debate, so are trainers the new political battleground?
"I stand with Nike, every day, all day", James said Tuesday at a Nike fashion show and awards ceremony in NY.
When Kaepernick and I met and talked just six days later, a few hours before the 49ers were set to play the San Diego Chargers, we discussed a lot, but more importantly we listened to each other.
The spot touches on the controversy of NFL players protesting racial inequality, police brutality and other issues by demonstrating during the playing of the national anthem.
After Nike made the announcement, President Trump tweeted, "What was Nike thinking?"
Yet the ad, by Wieden & Kennedy, might have landed better with viewers than such social media drama suggested.
"It is shocking that a company the size of Nike doesn't understand that refusing to stand for the national anthem is offensive to the majority of Americans, particularly those in uniform, who have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice for our security and freedom", Patrick said in a press release.
Athletic apparel companies have straddled the entertainment and cultural worlds for years partly with their emulation of black culture - think Run-DMC's Adidas shoe deal in the wake of the group's rap hit "My Adidas" and Nike's "Air Jordan" campaigns featuring Michael Jordan and Spike Lee.
Tapping controversial athlete Colin Kaepernick in its latest campaign has certainly been building buzz for Nike.
During the event, Kaepernick spoke to Nike employees.
"If I was in the NFL I would be kneeling still", said another resident Peyton Warren. Soon after, the protest movement caught fire as dozens of players across the league began either kneeling or raising their fists in protest.