Colorado Sports Store Owner Who Boycotted Nike Now Closing Up Shop

Colo. sporting goods store that spurned Nike wear after Colin Kaepernick ad campaign goes out of business

Colo. sporting goods store that spurned Nike wear after Colin Kaepernick ad campaign goes out of business

Prime Time Sports owner Stephen Martin told News 5 that he can no longer afford his lease at Chapel Hills Mall in Colorado Springs after being open over 20 years.

During the summer, Nike revealed that Colin Kaepernick would be the face of one of their biggest campaigns of all time. Nike named Kaepernick as the face of its "Just Do It" campaign in September 2018. "Even if it means sacrificing everything" superimposed on it. Nike's decision led to calls for a boycott of the company, with more than 42,000 people tweeting with the hashtag #NikeBoycott the day after the ad was released.

"Being a sports store without Nike is kind of like being a milk store without milk or a gas station without gas", he said.

"How do you do it?"

Martin said he realized past year that he could go out of business over the decision to remove Nike merchandise, given that a sizable chunk of his inventory was National Football League jerseys that are exclusive to Nike.

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Martin then chose to sell all of his Nike product at highly-discounted prices, despite him acknowledging Nike merchandise makes up 40-50 percent of the store's inventory.

In 2016, he canceled an autograph session with then-Broncos star Brandon Marshall over Marshall's choice to kneel during the anthem. "They have a monopoly on jerseys", Martin told the station. "For everybody that has offered help and support through the "Honor The Flag" memorial wall and NIKE boycott, now is your time to help me liquidate".

Fast forward five months and now he's done.

"That part of the military respect that's in me just can not be sacrificed or compromised, as I believe (Broncos linebacker) Brandon Marshall and Colin Kaepernick both did", Martin told Colorado station KOAA News 5.

The businessman was busy recently thanks to a 40 percent off clearance sale, but said, "I just can't keep the doors open anymore".

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