Since 2012, Nike has launched the #BeTrue campaign to promote the visibility and representation of LGBTQI athletes in sports. More than just slapping rainbow versions of the Nike logo on merchandise, the company has made a significant investment to promoting LGBTQI causes and communities in sports. In the past, Nike has prominently featured LGBTQI athletes and activists in their ad campaigns and has persisted in promoting their causes despite any backlash. They have also hosted workshop events and raised money for various LGBTQI charities and organizations.
This year, Nike is honoring Gilbert Baker, the political activist who took the rainbow flag and made it the worldwide symbol for the LGBTQI movement. In 1978, Baker sewed the flag as a symbol for joy, positivity and unity. Nike has partnered with Gilbert Baker’s estate to feature his original design in this year’s #BeTrue collection.
For this year’s #BeTrue campaign, Nike is supporting 20 different LGBTQI organizations some of whom include the GLBT Historical Society, Hetrick-Martin Institute, National Gay and Lesbian Basketball Association and You Can Play.
In addition, Nike is featuring many different LGBTQI Athletes, Para-Athletes, and People of Color in their advertising to promote the #BeTrue campaign. Including Brittney Griner, Kerron Clement, Caster Semenya, Chris Mosier, Fernando Bramsamark, Elissa Steamer, Eric Koston, Mark McKenzie, Sout Bassett, and Sue Bird.
By Dirk Smith