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Volume 26 No. 207
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Nike Aiming To Boost U.S. Sales By Investing More In Women's Business

Nike hopes partnerships like its one with the WNBA will help the brand cater more to women
Photo: NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Nike hopes partnerships like its one with the WNBA will help the brand cater more to women
Photo: NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Nike hopes partnerships like its one with the WNBA will help the brand cater more to women
Photo: NBAE/GETTY IMAGES

Nike is making a "bigger, bolder investment in women," and it is "using sports as one way to get to them," according to Lauren Thomas of CNBC.com. Nike's work with the WNBA is "just one example of a growing list of moves the retailer is making to show it can cater to women more than it has in the past." As Nike is "looking for new pockets of growth in North America, women's could be one of them." But it "won't be a guaranteed success overnight." Branding agency Vivaldi Founder & CEO Erich Joachimsthaler said that in order to "amass more female customers, and keep them loyal, Nike should stay on the course of being an 'inspirational' brand." Joachimsthaler: "Targeting women is very different. You can't just rely on the major sports. ... They have to be more approachable." Nike Global Women's VP & GM Rosemary St. Clair noted there is "momentum right now around women in sport." St. Clair: "We want to be inspiring, and we also want to invest (in the opportunity). ... We have made some edits and shifts within Nike to get after that opportunity." Thomas noted Nike's women's lines today still represent less than 25% of Nike's total sales. But the overall U.S. women's market for shoes and clothing is "much larger than men's" (CNBC.com, 4/17).

CHANGING THE GAME: St. Clair said Nike is "excited about the momentum going on with women's sports and we want to support and inspire the next generation." She added Nike is "committed to using our brand as a catalyst, and that includes things like investing in grassroots programs and activating female coaches." St. Clair: "We know that girls who have a positive experience in sports are more likely to stay in sports, and we believe that the right type of coaching will result in a positive experience for them" (TEENVOGUE.com, 4/17).