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Nike Decision to Back Kaepernick Rooted in Social Change

9/5/2018 1:00 AM PDT

Nike's Decision to Back Colin Kaepernick Rooted in Social Change as Well as Business

EXCLUSIVE

Nike's decision to make its bold deal with Colin Kaepernick was partly a shrewd business move, but sources involved in the negotiation tell TMZ Sports a big part was also cultural.

Our sources say Nike was fully aware there would be outrage by embracing Kaepernick's cause but, on balance, the company knew it would attract way more customers than it would lose. Although the target demos are highly protected by Nike -- industry sources tell TMZ Nike's customer base is "significantly urban" and the company felt the decision would be solidly embraced.

But, beyond demos ... we're told Nike's decision was a long play. Up-and-coming athletes are no longer just shills for corporate America. They increasingly embrace causes and are not afraid to speak out, even at their own expense. In other words, they believe in Colin's mantra, "Believe in something.  Even if it means sacrificing everything."

We're told Nike wants to show these athletes it will back their causes, even if it means getting attacked by the President of the United States. The company wants the up-and-comers to feel proud to be associated with the brand. 

Our sources say Nike has made a calculated decision to become "a partner in social change."   

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