I’m going to go ahead and warn you that this post doesn’t really have a theme or singular focus.
Forbes has a great piece on Nike that discusses its evolution from mass marketing and organizing the company by products (shoes, shirts, hats, etc) to micromarketing, focusing on the consumer and organizing the company by sports. The article also talks about how Nike really focuses on testing and getting the details right, in addition to touching on its expansion into China (Nike is outfitting 22 of 28 Chinese Olympic teams for the Beijing Games). Definitely check out the article if you’re interested in sports business and one of the most popular brands in the industry.
Another thing the article briefly mentions is Nike+. From both a technology and community perspective, Nike+ is a great idea. The Nike+ system requires an iPod Nano and shoes with a special chip that allows runners to track their times, distance, and calories burned. Runners can upload their stats to the Nike+ website and compare them with other runners. The website takes advantage of runners’ competitive natures and allows people to join or issue challenges to their friends or other Nike+ runners. It’s also got a link to the Nike Running Blog, which features interviews, reasons to run, and other running content. Best of all, it’s regularly updated (though it’s not exactly a true “blog” because it doesn’t allow people to comment or discuss posts).
It still amazes me how ingrained Nike is in our sports culture–and just about every sport. Just a few years ago they didn’t have any presence in golf. Now they design shoes for Tiger Woods and sell them for $220. Spending $2 billion a year on marketing helps…
It will be interesting to see how Nike handles the Under Armour challenge. It seems they are both competing intensely for high school sports athletes–especially football players. Under Armour has Click-Clack and Nike has its Leave Nothing commercials. See the links below for a comparison.
Which commercial do you prefer?
Things should get even more interesting later this year when Under Armour releases its Prototype shoes, which I’m sure will be heavily promoted. Will UA’s new shoes be a hit with athletes? What do you think?