The Contingency of Corporate Political Advocacy: Nike’s ‘Dream Crazy’ Campaign with Colin Kaepernick

Jochen Hoffmann, Karina Nyborg Jørgensen, Charlotte Vestergaard Averhoff, Simone Olesen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

An emerging field of research views Corporate Political Advocacy (CPA) as a communication strategy that responds to the challenges of public relations in divided societies. CPA takes a political position in public and, by doing so, appears to deliberately alienate some of its stakeholders. This study challenges the assumption that CPA discards a unifying epideictic rhetoric in favour of agonistic politics. The investigated case is Nike’s Dream Crazy campaign starring American football player Colin Kaepernick, whose protest against race discrimination in the United States sparked a heated public debate. Although the critical analysis of the campaign and responses on Twitter reveal deep political cleavages, Nike is concurrently engaged in unchallenged communication praising the hyper-individualism of a market ideology. The epideictic contingency of Nike’s CPA undermines the social cause ostensibly at the heart of the campaign: the fight against racial discrimination.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Relations Inquiry
Volume9
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)155-175
Number of pages21
ISSN2046-147X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Agonistics
  • Colin Kaepernick
  • Nike
  • corporate political advocacy
  • culture industry
  • epideictic rhetoric
  • racial discrimination

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