Colin Kaepernick’s Latest Branding Move? Trademarking His Signature Image

Former NFL player and Nike brand star Colin Kaepernick means business.

Last Friday, Kaepernick’s company, Inked Flash, filed to trademark his image according to records released today from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s website. Specifically, the company applied to use a black-and-white illustration of his face — complete with his signature afro — which is expected to be employed across various products including clothes, footwear, sandals, flip-flops, backpacks, shampoo, jewelry, furniture and more.

colin kaepernick, us patent, trademark
Colin Kaepernick has filed to trademark his image.
CREDIT: Courtesy of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

In addition, the docket outlines that the trademark would be utilized in conjunction with “providing classes, workshops, seminars and camps in the field of self empowerment and awareness to properly interact with law enforcement,” according to USPTO records. The filing follows Kaepernick’s August request with the agency, in which his “Im with Kap” phrase was submitted for consideration.

This marks another notch along the Nike athlete’s mission, who has publicly used his platform for activism since at least 2016 when he began kneeling during the national anthem at football games to peacefully protest racial injustices. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback-turned free agent has been seemingly iced out of any viable league opportunities since (as such, he’s currently in the midst of a collusion grievance against NFL owners, which he filed last October).

Politics aside, Kaepernick remains marketing — and financial — gold. Last month, he was revealed as one of the faces of Nike’s 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign, which was rolled out in several advertising forms all touting the statement, “believe in something even if it means risking everything.” While this sparked conversation (to the tune of 5 million social media mentions), outrage that led to the burning of product and even a ban in Louisiana, most notably it sent Nike stock soaring; its shares hit an all-time high after the release.

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