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Nike Is Connecting With Consumers More Than Ever Before Thanks to Membership, Store Innovation and Megan Thee Stallion

Nike continues to win consumers over in the hypercompetitive athletic and sportswear landscape with a multifaceted approach to retail and engagement. Today, the company offered a look into its game plan.

During its “One Nike Marketplace” media event today, the athletic giant offered up several executives — as well as Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Lauren Hobart — to explain the refined approach to both its digital and physical marketplaces.

Below are five key takeaways from the event.

Physical Retail Footprint Expansion

Nike by Williamsburg
The entrance to the Nike by Williamsburg store.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Nike

Shannon Glass (VP of North America Nike Direct): “In North America, we are growing fast and deliberately. To give you an example of that, in November and December alone, we will open nine new stores. And that’s more stores in two months than some years pre-pandemic, and we expect to continue to see that growth into the future. And you will see these new stores across the two of our key concepts. Rise, which is a larger store, which delivers full family sport to large metro areas. Live, which is our smaller format that serves more local and neighborhood communities, as well as Unite, which is our value-oriented concept. All of these concepts are designed to create direct connection and serve our local communities.”

New Energy at Brick-and-Mortar

Frank Ha (VP of North America Nike stores): “We currently have four concepts that we have been introducing to consumers globally. The House of Innovation: these are our stores for the world, the best expression of Nike’s innovation in a store format. Nike Rise: these are our stores for the city, celebrating local sport and fitness and connecting our consumers to experiences inside and outside the store. Nike Live: these are our small-format stores for the neighborhood and reflect the color of the local area, serving the consumer with localized product recommendations and convenient online to offline services that our consumers crave. And finally, we have Nike Unite. These are our stores for the community, offering consumers the most value in terms of pricing. And not only do we hire from the local community, but we have programs for our store athletes to get back to those same communities.”

The Power of Membership

Daniel Heaf (VP of Nike Direct): “We’re using digital services to create a Nike-distinct experience that blurs the line between digital and our stores, and, most importantly, it helps us deliver our mission for all consumers to make sport a daily habit. Key to this … is membership. When a consumer logs in with Nike and as a member, we’re able to increase relevancy and build a true, meaningful long-term relationship with them. Members see the right messages at the right time, the most relevant products in the Nike App, receive exclusive access in SNKRS, get guided to the next best workout on the Nike Training Club App and are offered a personalized styling session in one of our beautiful stores. And we’re already seeing this strategy work, as repeat buying for members was up more than 70% last quarter. But there’s no shortage of new members, either. Through our stores, we’re seeing higher and higher numbers of linked transactions.”

Iris Yen (Global VP of Nike Direct digital commerce): “The not-so-secret key to the power and value of what we offer in our ecosystem is Nike membership, and the way we innovate membership experiences to help athletes do sport and shop sport. Nike has always been — since the days of selling shoes out of the back of a van — about developing relationships with athletes to serve their unique needs. Membership is how we do that today at scale, with over 300 million members around the world. We are investing in new capabilities, new technologies and new ways for our members to connect with Nike. What will always be most important to Nike is that we are doing everything we can to make sport a daily habit, and when we utilize the Nike membership community to sustain and deepen relationships with consumers, we fuel a virtuous cycle where we can better serve consumers with the right product in the right channel at the right time.”

A Can’t-Miss Digital Ecosystem

Nike Snkrs App
A look at the SNKRS app, which debuted in 2016.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

Shannon Glass: “Our digital business, it continues to break records and break new ground every day. And as we noted in our Q1 earnings, Nike Digital now represents more than a quarter of Nike shared business, and our digital business grew more than 45% just last quarter. We will continue to push our digital platform and the services that they provide our consumers. We are extending our workout offerings in our Nike Running and Nike Training apps, we’re increasing our member engagement on our SNKRS App, we’re sharing amazing human stories with our new livestream events, and our Nike App continues to be the Nike Member home destination. We do this all while servicing over 300 million members globally and our ability to serve our members with exclusive products, first access and special events and more is critical, and I’m thrilled to share that we are now extending those benefits across Nike Direct and with our strategic Nike partners.”

Iris Yen: “SNKRS is a critical way we engage and drive energy in the culture and community of streetwear, and we continue to innovate to deliver more member-centric and trusted experiences within the app. This summer, we used the exclusive access feature to create exclusivity at scale. With exclusive access, we send personalized purchase offers to members based on their engagement with sneakers. Ninety percent of the invites for the Off-White Dunk went to members who have lost out on a prior Off-White collaboration over the past two years. The result is that the Off-White Dunk ended up on the feet of hundreds of thousands of our most deserving members.

“Livestreaming has given us a powerful way to engage authentically and spontaneously with passionate communities across sport and culture, something that we previously thought was only achievable in person. We are using livestreaming to reach people in real time, and the response and engagement from viewers has been fantastic. This summer, we began testing a new capability that will allow viewers to purchase products within a SNKRS livestream. Not only is this incredibly convenient, but it also allows the steps and space to tell the stories of our products in the most impactful way. Our shoppable livestream capability in sneakers is now available in 20 countries across three geographies, and has reached over 3 million people with 125 streams.

“Recently, we introduced the athlete mindset content on NTC that focuses on the holistic athlete, and we’ve added more than 50 new audio-guided runs in the NRC app. The Nike App continues to be our flagship membership hub, enabling a seamless convergence between personalized shopping journeys while eliminating friction for consumers. And we’re fueling that convergence by expanding the reach of our Nike app as consumers increasingly utilize their mobile devices to shop with the Nike app now available in 44 countries and territories, which translates to millions of new Nike members utilizing our near digital experience.”

megan thee stallion, nike, new hottiess, shorts, biker shorts, sneakers, sports bra, dance, workout
Megan Thee Stallion stars in a new campaign for Nike.
CREDIT: Adrienne Raquel/Nike

Steve Scarpetta (VP of North America Nike Direct digital commerce): “Our recent partnership with news-making athlete, entertainer and Grammy Award-winner Megan Thee Stallion is a great example of how new fresh content accelerates sport activity in person. With Megan, our goal was to amplify our always-on digital experiences, specifically with Gen Z females, and serve all of this continues to inspire consumers a kind of Megan’s journey as an athlete within our digital channels. In our Nike Training Club app, or NTC for short, we launched new wellness content and workouts featuring Megan alongside Nike trainer Tara Nicolas that allowed Nike members to train with them at home or on the go. In the Nike app and on Nike.com, we offered a curated collection of Megan’s head-to-toe Nike looks that are available to browse and purchase. We’re constantly assessing the seamless consumer journey across our digital ecosystem, so if an active user was motivated by Megan’s story, we could introduce her to the workouts and the NTC. Likewise, if a member engages with us through one of Megan’s workouts, we can immediately connect her to the inspirational story or curated looks on our commerce channels. Megan’s athlete journey also showed up across her YouTube and Instagram channels, driving millions of views and directing her followers to download and join her on our NTC App. Initial results have been tremendous. Megan’s content in the Nike App drove a record high today engagement, her workouts drew a 2x increase in daily active users in NTC, and her curated looks saw more than double the demand compared to any other product content during the same time period, and we plan to release more Megan content in the coming weeks.

“We’re also on the doorstep of Cyber Week, and holiday shopping is in full swing. As our members seek out the best of what Nike has to offer this year, our digital channels are decked out with gift guides and new shoppable content. It makes it easier to navigate and get the best from the brand. We’re also maximizing the power of storytelling across our ecosystem to create more meaningful shopping experiences for our targeted audiences. For example, we recently introduced new storytelling on the Nike App and dot-com that speaks to the unique challenge for many pre-teens. Tweens are often toggling back and forth between kids and adult sizes, and many are still developing a sense of their style of their own. We’ve created a shoppable experience inviting tweens and their parents to explore some of our newest kids and adult releases.”

Leveraging Key Partnerships

Lauren Hobart (President and CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods): “Our connected members are going to get a completely elevated and differentiated experience, which is a major goal of both of our companies. Consumers are now going to be able to link their Dick’s Scorecard and the Nike Member account to unlock exclusive Nike products, services and experiences.”

Sarah Mensah (VP/GM, North America): “We’ve already launched and curated collections of Nike running and yoga apparel for members on the Dick’s App, and throughout November it’s just going to get even more exciting because Nike members who shop at Dick’s are going to have access to three new styles: an Air Force One, a Blazer and a Pegasus Trail 3. And there’s going to be even more exclusives coming throughout the holiday season. This is just a win from the start. Shoppers who link their accounts are going to get Scorecard points at Dick’s, and they’re going to get access to these exclusive products. Plus, they’ll have also access to a bunch of new exclusive events that are going on at the new Dick’s House of Sport locations.”

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