Nike Inc. is checking off multiple boxes in one fell Swoosh.
The athletic behemoth this week launched a first of its kind subscription sneaker service for kids that is aimed at parents but features content and products for young athletes.
Dubbed “Nike Adventure Club,” the latest move sees the brand go after its objectives to become more technology-driven, tackle every day consumer pain points and forge deeper connections with consumers through experiential offerings and pushing causes like sustainability.
“It’s a simple, convenient shoe subscription service that keeps fast-growing kids in the right-sized Nike and Converse sneakers,” said Dave Cobban, GM of the program. “Nike Adventure Club removes the hassle of shopping for parents and welcomes kids into starting an adventure with our personalized boxes that include adventure guides, stickers and other fun surprises.”
Similar to other recent initiatives — like Nike Fit — the Adventure Club was birthed out of a recent partnership the brand sealed with kids sneakers subscription start up Easy Kicks in 2017.
Cobban and Dominique Shortell, director of retention and member experience for the new club, said the brand spent the past two years working with Easy Kicks as an exclusive partner and gaining key lessons it applied to the launch of its club. (Similarly, using knowledge from its 2018 acquisition of 3D scanning specialization firm Invertex Ltd., Nike in May launched “Fit,” aimed at helping consumers find their precise size in its wares.)
This month, the 10,000 members of Easy Kicks will be transferred to Nike Adventure Club, which replaces the previous model.
“Nike Adventure Club was created by busy parents for busy parents,” said Shortell. “We understand the challenges of growing kids and wanted to provide a solution that wasn’t available in the market for kid’s shoes that families would find easy and convenient.”
The program — which will include an “adventure guide” in each box to encourage children and their parents to engage in outdoor activities and exploration — also has a sustainable component.
“Twice a year we’ll send you a pre-paid shoe bag that you can fill with any shoe from any brand and ship it back to us,” said Cobban. “We’ll either grind it up to make playgrounds or find new homes for gently used footwear through a network of local non-profit organizations. If [parents] don’t want to wait until our shoe drives, [they] can always save your Nike Adventure Club box, fill it with shoes [they’d] like to recycle and ship it back.”
Nike Adventure Club serves kids ages two through 10 (or sizes 4c-7Y) and features upwards of 100 sneaker styles from performance, streetwear, energy or seasonal categories. There are three tiers of subscription: four pairs a year for $20 a month; six pairs a year for $30 a month; and one pair a month for $50/month. Parents can sign up on NikeAdventureClub.com
As part of the project, Nike is partnering with non-profit KaBoom to build one new playground a year in underserved community neighborhoods near its stores.
Nike has good reason to get into the subscription box services game, according to Greg Petro, CEO of predictive analytics company First Insight, who noted that his firm’s latest research shows about 25% of consumers currently use a subscription box.
“Subscription box services are definitely picking up steam,” said Petro said. “Not only do they provide shoppers with convenience, but they also serve up items in a smart way based on insights gathered on real-time preferences and purchase behavior. Kids’ subscription boxes offer parents convenience and ease. As Gen Xers and older Millennials start to have kids, the children’s subscription box model will only increase in popularity, including for footwear.”
About 32% of those surveyed by First Insight indicated plans to subscribe to a box service in the next six months, Petro said, with more Baby Boomers (22 percent) and Generation Xers (28 percent) starting to get on board with such offerings.
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