For the 30th anniversary of “Just do it,” Nike celebrated athletes who dreamed crazy, from household names like Serena Williams and LeBron James to a girl who dreamed just as crazy by playing linebacker on a high-school football team. The campaign was led by Colin Kaepernick, the controversial NFL quarterback who protested police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem—resulting in his being unsigned. Nike’s spokesman was an athlete no longer playing, who risked his dream for an even bigger one.
The campaign began with a single Tweet by Kaepernick. A few days later, on the eve of the NFL season, the “Dream Crazy” film launched. It featured athletes who pushed themselves further, with the rally cry to do so narrated by Kaepernick. Major U.S. cities also were covered with OOH, featuring different athletes and how they dreamed crazier. Within a day, the North America campaign was being talked about at the dinner table in just about every home in the U.S., not to mention by news coverage, talks shows, and politicians around the globe. President Trump Tweeted his disdain for the campaign—twice. And some people called for a boycott of Nike. But then the positive firestorm began as people from around the country came to the brand’s defense.