Nike most trusted America-based brand rules the sports world all over the globe. As of later 2020, the organization had a count of 76,700 employees worldwide. Around early 2020 the brand was at 89th position in the brand fortune 500 list counting 32 billion making it shine as the most valued brand in the sports world. Nike is shining in the sports market since 1964 when started as a Sports equipment company.
This blog is a comprehensive examination of Nike’s marketing techniques, including its target market, social media strategy, marketing mix, digital marketing presence, campaigns, and marketing activities throughout the ongoing pandemic.
In 1964, Phill Knight track athlete, and his coach Bill Bowerman founded Nike originally known as Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS) in Eugene. In partnership with Japanese shoemaker, Onitsuka Tiger formed BRS. Till the end of 1964, the BRS sold around 1300 pairs of sports shoes and earned 8,000. In early, the annual net gross of BRS reached up to 20,000.
Later in 1966 BRS opened its retail store in Santa Monica, California. Later in 1971 relationship between BRS and Onitsuka Tiger came to an end. Then BRS was newly born with expansion and a new name “Nike”. Its first product designed by Carolyn Davidson named Swoosh was used by Nike on 18th June 1971. In the middle of 1980, Nike got a 50% share in the U.S. sports shoe market. In December of the same year, Nike went public and a new story began in the growth of Nike.
Nike had Wieden+Kennedy as their primary advertising partner. Co-founder of the advertising company Late Dan Wieden coined the most famous slogan for Nike “Just Do It” in a 1988 Nike ad campaign. Throughout the whole year, Nike expanded at a rapid speed. The growth of Nike went at a rapid rate. Around 2013 Nike replaced Alcoa and was made a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
In December 2013 Nike’s profit rose to 13% in global orders. For the budgetary year 2018, Nike reported earnings of US$1.933 billion, with annual revenue of US$36.397 billion, an increase of 6.0% over the previous budgetary cycle. Nike’s shares traded at over $72 per share, and its market capitalization was valued at over US$114.5 billion in October 2018.
Nike being a global brand gained more popularity just because of the quality products. Being a sports brand added more options for promotions and mouth publicity. In 1982 first, advertise of Nike was aired, created by the advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy during the New York Marathon. With this, the Cannes Advertising Festival honored Nike as the first company to receive the honor twice of Advertiser of the Year in 1994 and 2003.
Nike now promotes its products through sponsoring agreements with celebrity athletes. Nike’s first professional athlete to promote Nike’s product was Romanian tennis player Ilie Năstase. Nike has also sponsored many other successful track and field athletes over the years, such as Sebastian Coe, Carl Lewis, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Michael Johnson, and Allyson Felix. The underwriting of basketball player Michael Jordan in 1984, with his subsequent promotion of Nike over the course of his career, with Spike Lee as Mars Blackmon, proved to be one of the huge boosts to Nike’s glare and sales.
Nike’s best digital marketing campaigns have some basic aspects including some of the best digital marketing campaigns of Nike.
Nike believes in marketing strategy is brilliantly supported by effective ads. Nike doesn’t just sell their product but they sell aspiration.
Building Taglines and Stories
Nike focuses on creating meaningful stories to build a loyal fan base. Nike prompts emotion in the customer through “emotional branding”. Carefully crafted ads aim to give rise to particular feelings and make Nike products more meaningful through the eyes of the customers.
Nike’s digital marketing strategy has brought success. Nike is the most valuable global apparel brand with a brand value of 28 billion dollars as per the records of 2018. They held the largest market share with 2.8 percent in 2017. The company’s financial record is also strong. In the last consecutive 4 years, Nike generated over 30 billion dollars in revenue.
Targeting Targeted Audience
Nike has a special targeting strategy that targets the audience who actually needs the products. E.g. Nike believes in sponsorships. Nike promotes their product through celebrity athletes gradually leading in approaching a targeted audience crowd.
The brand always uses cutting-edge technologies like hyper adapt. Their mission is “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world” and as we all know their tagline is “Just Do It”. They have a strong product portfolio in various interrelated business segments to retain their customers and provide bundle products to them.
Nike advertisements have always delivered powerful messages that stay with viewers for a long time.
The label’s well-known “Just Do It” mission statement has appeared in the list of iconic advertisements over the years. The company has earned a reputation for being one of the most creative advertisers in the business.
Charles Barkley’s “I Am Not a Role Model” (1993)
The leading sportswear cast Charles Barkley in its 1993 commercial raised a valid point “Just because I dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids”. The statement created controversies in Unites states. Barkley was not the only one to make this point at the time, but his message was amplified through this ad.
Tiger Woods’s “Hello World” (1996)
With their “Hello World” promotional video, the leading sportswear presented Tiger Woods to the world when he started playing professionally in 1996. Few could have foreseen then how influential Woods would be in the world of golf, but Nike’s ad boldly predicted his accomplishments that would shortly follow. The ad went on air and slowly got more popular in those days.
Nike deliberately harnessed the sport’s supremacy, as well as its athletes, to fight impairment and discrimination in its February 2017 video advertisement. The campaign urged people to implement the sportsmanship and justice they witness on the court or on the playing field in their everyday lives. It wasn’t made to advertise a product. Instead, the label and the athletes intended to highlight a major social issue in the United States.
The tagline of this campaign was, “The ball should bounce the same for everyone, on or off the field of play.”
Lockdown and Covid 19 can be said to be the worst years in world history after world wars and pandemics. The virus made many unrecoverable damage. Many of the people lost their loved ones, some lost their job and some lost their big set-ups raised with hard work. In this scenario, many companies and their owners came forward to help people globally.
With the same thought, some companies overcame this phase yet the impact of Covid continued on many of the companies. Currently, it has been almost three years for Covid outbreak yet companies striving hard to come up with the loss bared in those years. Although safety was more important in the situation after all it has to be left back and starting again is what is needed. Many companies like Nike supported citizens and the government to overcome the phase. Nike held campaigns and sessions for employees addressing people and their employees to be aware as well as assuring them of safety and security.
Nike addressed their customers and employees, “For the continued safety and wellbeing of our teammates and customers, our Nike-owned and operated stores will remain temporarily closed in multiple countries around the world. Stores in selected locations are open based on guidance from health and government authorities.”
In summary, Nike is the market leader because of its dominant worldwide presence and leadership. Because of its inviting environment, and unrivaled service, a customer’s experience at a Nike store is undoubtedly unlike any other sports equipment shop. Their welcoming “perfect sports-associated atmosphere” should be a long-term competitive advantage. The company’s retail outlets and on-site collaborations have earned higher response rates, putting them in front of the pack in the mature business. As a result of its all-encompassing marketing approach, Nike enjoys a strong market position.