SBD/June 2, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Nike Furthers Push Into Action Sports Market With New Ad Campaign

Nike today begins the "next phase of its current ‘Just Do It’ campaign with a focus on action sports like skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing,” according to Tanzina Vega of the N.Y. TIMES. The new campaign, "The Chosen," is Nike’s "largest effort at moving into action sports," and will feature athletes like skateboarder Paul Rodriguez, surfer Laura Enever and snowboarder Danny Kass. Action sports is a $390M business for Nike, and company execs "hope that figure doubles over the next five years.” For the last few years, Nike "has been on a steady mission to penetrate the market by creating sub-brands like Nike 6.0 and buying smaller brands like Hurley.” Nike began “teasing the campaign in early May with a 30-second version” of a commercial online. After watching the clip, viewers “could respond to a Facebook page" for the campaign debut today, "when a three-minute and 30-second version of the commercial will be shown followed by a 23-minute behind-the-scenes film.” The spot, via 72andSunny, L.A., "shows athletes performing at night in locations like Whistler, British Columbia; Bali, Indonesia; and New York City.” The campaign also features a contest "in which athletes can submit videos showing themselves in action.” Those videos “will run on the campaign’s Facebook page, and visitors to the page will be able to vote on which video they like best.” Contest winners will be chosen at the Nike-owned U.S. Open of Surfing. In addition, Nike will release a 90-second 3D version of the commercial "that will be shown on the Fourth of July weekend in movie theaters" before films like "Transformers 3" and during Heat-Mavericks NBA Finals Game Three on Sunday. Vega notes the campaign is "tied to the debut of a sneaker called the Braata LF Mid Premium shoe, a skating shoe reminiscent of the Nike Dunk” (N.Y. TIMES, 6/2).
Nike released a 30-second trailer for the short film in April:


OH YES IT'S LADIES' NIGHT: WOMEN'S WEAR DAILY's Jessica Iredale reports Nike is "ramping up its investment in its Make Yourself girl power campaign, which launched last year." Nike has hired photographer Annie Leibovitz to "shoot the next installment of ads, which feature seven female athletes recruited from a broad spectrum of sports to make up the Make Yourself team." The effort is the first time Nike and Leibovitz have worked together. Enever, tennis players Maria Sharapova and Li Na, track stars Allyson Felix and Perri Shakes-Drayton, U.S. soccer G Hope Solo and dancer Sofia Boutella "appear in individual and group portraits, one of which features the women in the Nike Victory Bra series, with Leibovitz’s typical cinematic touches." The ads will break in the August and September issues of Seventeen, InStyle and Glamour, "with an emphasis on digital components as well." Nike Dir of Media Relations Derek Kent said, "What we wanted to do was really put a spotlight on women’s training and all the extra effort they have to do to be the best in their respective sports" (WWD.com, 6/2).

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