Nike Marketing Strategy, Marketing Mix and Case Study

Company History 

Nike Company History

Nike, Inc., founded on January 25, 1964, by University of Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman and his former student Phil Knight, began as Blue Ribbon Sports. It officially became Nike, Inc., in 1971, named after the Greek goddess of victory. 

The company revolutionized athletic footwear with innovations like the Waffle sole, invented by Bowerman, and air cushioning technology. Nike’s iconic Swoosh logo, designed by Carolyn Davidson in 1971, and its “Just Do It” slogan, introduced in 1988, have solidified its position as a global leader in sports apparel and equipment. Today, Nike continues to influence athletic performance and fashion worldwide.

Nike and Air Jordan Collaboration That Made Them Billion-Dollar Brands 

The collaboration between Nike and Michael Jordan has set the highest standards of endorsements for the world of sports as well as advertising. This collaboration wasn’t just a business transaction; it had deeper roots in aspirations, ambitions, and branding. Moreover, it was the outcome of a human’s eagerness for greatness. This article explores the psychology behind the partnership. Also, it will examine the influence it has on the realms of marketing, creating popular culture, and sports. 

A meeting between the greatest Michael Jordan and Nike in 1984 marked the beginning of a legendary partnership. 

Jordan was initially hesitant to sign with Nike as he preferred Adidas. Michael was persuaded by Nike for a 5-year shoe deal amounting to $2.5 million during his rookie year. 

They recognized his talents in the world of basketball and were set on giving him his brand. In 1985, designed by Peter Moore, the Air Jordan 1 redefined footwear for basketball with its unique and vibrant colors, iconic logo, and high-top design. 

The Michael Jordan brand: an unrivaled powerhouse 

Michael’s rocketing rise in basketball with the Chicago Bulls in the 90s signaled the break of a phenomenon that surpassed the sport itself. 

Jordan transformed into a global icon with exceptional skills and steady competitiveness, conquering the hearts and minds of millions. Not only basketball, Jordan showed excellence, determination, and relentless pursuit of success—qualities all humans aspire to incorporate in their daily lives.

All humans are naturally drawn toward inspirational figures who give a perfect example of the qualities they all aspire to. Jordan was highly dedicated and resilient, and he showed a hunger for success. Nike recognized this and used Jordan’s image to craft a brand revolving around him. 

Nike offered much more than just a shoe; it offered customers a slice of his persona. This enabled the people to feel a lot closer to their hero. At the same time, people felt a lot closer and more connected to the product Jordan endorsed.

Triggering desire: the scarcity principle 

Nike found the perfect psychological tactic that played a crucial role in strengthening Jordan’s brand. They used this to release only limited-edition Jordan sneakers. The strategy created a sense of exclusivity and urgency around their product. This tactic capitalizes on the human tendency to have something that others can’t easily acquire. People are waiting in lines for hours, even days. This only raised the brand’s mystique.

The concept of FOMO (ffear of missing out) comes into play here; psychologically, when a person perceives a highly scarce product, they are much more likely to purchase it, even if this was not on their purchase list in the first place. 

The nostalgia factor and the brand loyalty 

Most of the consumers who bought their first pair in the 1990s have stayed loyal to date. This loyalty was deeply rooted in emotional connections and adored memories with the brand during its initial years. 

Nostalgia is a powerful tool. Having positive memories of the brand from the past will create a tendency to relive those moments. This will rekindle the emotions associated with those years and strengthen loyalty to the brand. 


The psychology that shows the marketing partnership between these two giants is deeply rooted in the reality of human emotion and aspirations. The partnership brought out the aspirations and personal connections of a brand that has passed generational barriers. While Michael Jordan’s image represents the greatness he achieved in basketball, it also symbolizes a person’s thrust toward greatness in all aspects of life. (Nike connections with Jordan shaped the realms of sports, marketing, and culture.)

This partnership shows how effective marketing can leave an ineradicable mark on the world.

Nike’s Social Media Marketing Strategy 

Nike's Social Media Marketing Strategy

You can find Nike almost everywhere on social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn. It is so because Nike has about 300 social profiles. Nike’s social media strategy is the most successful story. 

Why is their strategy so successful, and what are the reasons behind it?

Nike is much more than just a sportswear brand. A brand that impacts its consumers’s everyday lives by encouraging a healthy life and encouraging people to be physically active. 

Nike not only promotes their product, but it also motivates everyone to be active. Their way of running social media seems very interesting; let us find out if it is effective or not.

conclusion from Nike’s strategy:

1. Nike uses different social media profiles for different sports and multiple social media platforms. Such as Nike football, Nike run club, Nike swim, Nike yoga, and many more. 

2. Nike not only promotes the product, but at the same time, they post their brand as a healthy lifestyle motivator. 

3. A few of the main elements they used were emotional storytelling and simple and powerful slogans. Nike presents news as well as empowers their target audience. 

4. Nike’s campaign aims to stop discrimination, racism, or hate. 

5. All their content is wise and eye-catching, and they also post limited things on these platforms. 

6. Nike has three YouTube channels: Nike, Nike Skateboarding, and Nike Football. 

7. Nike uses a lot of big names for sponsorships. Big names make great profits. They have people such as LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo, Tiger Woods, and many more. The latest post by Ronaldo gained about 2.5 million likes and had hashtags such as #teamnike. 

Analysis of Target Audience Engagement

Nike has a lot of social media networks that have millions of fans.

1. Instagram-306m

2. Facebook-39m

3. Twitter-10m

4. LinkedIn-4m

5. Tiktok-6m

6. Youtube-1.85m

7. Pinterest-1m

All social media marketers know that having a large number of followers does not mean as much as it used to. Nike does two things to get more engagement on these platforms. First, they engage with their followers, and they also need to run paid ads.

Nike Email Marketing Campaign 

Nike Email Marketing Campaign

Nike is one of the most famous athletic brands in the world. 

Nike was founded in 1964, almost 50 years ago. Placed 90th on the Fortune 500 list, Nike is one of the world’s richest brands, generating almost $36 billion in revenue per year. 

How does Nike use email marketing to build relationships with their customers, sell, and keep them happy? 

Once you sign up for the Nike email list as a new customer, You will receive an email from Nike within a few a few minutes. 

Nike, staying true to its famous slogan “Just Do It,” with the welcoming email offers a friendly meeting. Nike invites you to join Nike Plus, which will give you access to a gamified platform with shopping and exercise apps. Plus membership will also give you access to Nike experts who will help you find the perfect pair of sneakers and other benefits. 

Towards the bottom of the email, you will find an option to locate the nearest store, as few people love to shop in person rather than online.

1. Nike’s Nike Plus welcome email

As soon as someone joins the Nike Plus membership, you will again receive an email. 

In every email Nike sends out, there is a part at the bottom under “NIKE.COM.” Under this, you will find a clickable list of “men, women, boys, and girls” options. 

This is maybe because a customer sees an email from Nike. A customer may think that he needs to buy his wife something for her birthday! Or “I need a new pair of sneakers.” These clickable links will help them have immediate access to browse, shop, and buy. 

Clearly, Nike does not want to interfere with someone’s pre-planned desire to purchase. Nike tries to trigger spontaneous moments. 

Nike uses photos to create a consistent image which will give subscribers to identify the Nike brand. This in turn will create an association with Nike products, teamwork as well as friendship. 

Nike tries to set up a healthy and progressive lifestyle for their customers. 

They list off the benefits of signing up to Nike Plus and to go all in you can download all their apps. They keep encouraging the customers to download all these apps and find stores. 

By signing up, you will be a part of Nike’s inner circle. Nike does this for good reasons too. The inner circle is where 80% of the profits come from. As it is well known to everyone it is 60% easier to sell to an existing customer. Nike offers free shipping as a Nike Plus member. 2

2. Nike’s Abandoned Cart Email

If you leave a few products in your digital cart, Nike will remind you after a few days. Most companies do it right away but Nike does take its time. They will show you the image of the product in your cart as well as the price of it. 

For plus subscribers Nike also offers free guidance from their experts. They feel like buying clothing online may be a little nerve-wracking and it may be the perfect way to soothe the fear. 

They also offer a 30-30-day free return period, in case you don’t like the product. 

The email also suggests a few similar products if you lost interest in your original preference.

3. Nike’s weekly email cadence

A lot of debates are going on as to how many emails a business should send per week. Nike keeps a monthly cadence. They send four emails every month – the 1st, 5th, 13th, and 28th which are not weekly or bi-weekly. 

One cannot predict the mailing patterns. They seemed to be interested in keeping these email timing rigid and unexpected. This gives them a sense of humanity and personal touch. 

4. Nike’s back-in-stock email

What happens when you like a product but it is out of stock on Nike’s official website? 

As with any other e-commerce website, Nike asks you to enter your email address in order to get a back-in-stock notification. Once the product is back in stock, you will receive another email. This will be appropriately centered around the product you were interested in. The email just doesn’t end there, nike offers a few other options that you might be interested in. 

The more people explore, the more chances they have of buying something.

5. Feedback email

Collecting feedback is one of the most important needs for marketing, even if you are already a growing company. Nike offers a very simple email regarding feedback. Nike straightforwardly dives into saying “Your feedback helps us get better at what we do, every day.”

Nikes post-purchase emails post-purchase email from Nike provided us with the dates that we can expect to receive our product. They added all the standard stuff for a digital receipt, the order number, and the link to track the package. And an interesting thing they added at the end of the mail is ” top picks for you”. 

Billboard Marketing Strategy By Nike 

Billboard Marketing Strategy By Nike

Billboard advertising makes up a large global audience for Nike. Eventually, Nike will have a sales boost. Which will turn people into potential customers. 

Now the question arises: What are the potential reasons behind this? Results are brought by the latest Nike collaboration of ‘ creative collective CEKAI with Nike Tokyo’s in-house brand creative studio.’ Nike used the OOH initiative including a 4k display, 3d technology, and graphical hints. 

The ad started with an oversized orange Nike box hovering in the air. Upon opening it revealed Nike running shoes, after that a few quick transitions were shown. In the end, the Shinjuku cat took the box with its paws. 

One may ask ‘What challenges does the team have to face to overcome this enormous task?’ The team replied ‘ It is not an easy task’ to put something this big together. From complex learning curves to 3d technology. But as soon as it all comes together, it will remain a memory forever.

Sneaker Collaboration With Top Celebrities 

Sneaker Collaboration With Top Celebrities

One of the most anticipated and most fascinating topics in the sneaker world will always be collaborations between the brand and top celebrities. What started with Michael Jordan which gave rise to several iconic sneakers to the sneaker heads. The collaboration between Nike and Jordan set up a benchmark for upcoming celebrity collaborations. 

Most of the celebrities are reported to be huge sneakerheads. They always take advantage of an opportunity to create their signature shoes in collaboration with leading brands. In the sneaker world, there is a long list of celebrity sneaker collaborations. However here is a list of a few iconic celebrities.

1) Pharrell Williams x Adidas

NMD is one of the most popular sneakers released in 2016. While there was a lot of excitement around the sneaker, it was also reported being in a celebrity collaboration including William Pharell.

2) Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1

Travis Scott is one of the biggest names in the world of fashion and music. The Air Jordan 1 low Travis Scott X Fragment is still a popular sneaker in the world of sneakerheads. 

3) Cardi B x Reebok 

In her early days, Cardi B was the face of Reebok. The chunky, metallic Reebok classics’ 90s aesthetic is believed to be one of the most exciting celebrity sneaker collaborations of all time. This sneaker reflects New York at night. 

4) sarena williams x nike

 a three-way collaboration between Virgil Abloh of off-white and the Swoosh brand, Serena Williams developed her design team. 

An Air Max 98, Blazer Mid, and Court Flare 2 were a few of the sneakers that were released as a part of Off-game-changing white’s ” the Ten” collection in the “queen collection”.

5) Anna Wintour x Nike

Anna Wintour teamed up with Nike to recreate Air Jordan 1s. This was the first sneaker that included a female adaption and their own ” edited by Vogue” logo to represent Wintour’s property. 

6) Kendrick Lamar x Nike 

The world of sneakers is filled with music icons making legendary sneaker collaborations. The artist switched his partnership to Nike from Reebok. In 2018 the 12-time Grammy Award winner partnered with Nike on ‘ Cortez Kenny 1. 

7) Vivienne Westwood x Asics

in 2019, in collaboration with Asics launched two types of models. The sneakers were artistically designed by Vivienne Westwood. In July 2019 they released three more designs to be added to the pair’s limited edition capsule collection. 

8) Gigi Hadid x Reebok

Gigi Hadid revealed her collaboration with Reebok, showing a black sneaker with orange laces on Instagram. This was the most awaited celebrity sneaker collaboration with Gigi Hadid. In 2018 Reebok launched Aztrek Double x Gigi Hadid. 

9) Justin Timberlake x Nike Air Jordan 3

When it comes to sneaker collaboration Justin Timberlake x Nike is one of the most popular celebrity collaborations. Justin and designer Tinker Hatfield made 2 trainers with Nike in 2013 under the “Legend of the Summer collection “. This was not the only time these giants came together in 2018, taking inspiration from his album ‘ Man of the Woods ‘. This was the Air Jordan 3 JTH which came out in August 2018. 

10) Nike x Michael Jordan 

One can talk about the big names around the sneakers collaboration but leaving Michael Jordan out of this conversation would be a big mistake. 

This was where it all started. When Jordan signed up with Nike for a five-year US$ 2.5 million contract. Three times any other contract ever made in the history of the NBA. 

Even today jordans are the most awaited sneakers available on the market that people are obsessed with. 

Numerous other celebrities and sneaker brands are collaborating every day. These 10 were the most iconic and huge celebrities that people often tend to follow

London Olympics Strategy 

London Olympics Strategy

Nike lost the race to the official sponsor of the 2012 Olympic Games. Adidas won the race, they were the official sponsor. Rules clearly state that only the official sponsor can use phrases, like “Olympic games” or use the Olympic symbols. 

Nike has to come up with some solution to go around the rules. They used their creative teams and came up with a pretty cool series of tactics that were cunning but at the same time bold. 

1. Ambush marketing

Nike found the perfect ambush marketing strategy which revolved around the concept of ” find your greatness.” Even though they didn’t mention the Olympics. All their advertisements were pasted all over London. 

2. Be subtle, yet memorable

Nike created an ad with a runner getting ready while putting his Nike shoes on and then looking at the camera. The shirt reveals the words “London” and “2012”, the ad itself didn’t post anything about the Olympics but we all know what that was about. 

3. Finding the right Endorser

Nike’s biggest endorser was seen attending a few events wearing Nike gear. This showed the brand’s association with the Olympics.

Nike Marketing Mix

Nike Marketing Mix

1. Product 

Nike offers plethora of products including their best-selling shoes, t-shirts, hoodies, apparel and sports gears and equipment. The products are made with premium quality material and targeted towards every sports lover from its marketing mix.  Currently, Nike is the leader in the sportswear industry and generates the maximum revenue from their top-selling product which is Shoes. 

If you ever visited Nike store, or have ever checked out their shoes, then you must have realized they several designs of Shoe avalaible across all categories including sports, causal wear and my favourite sneakers. Their sneakers are top-rated with vibrant colours, style and design which attract lot of eyeballs, especially from the younger generation and sneakerheads. 

2. Price 

Speaking of the pricing mix of Nike, then they sell their products at a premium price and on value-based pricing strategies. Value-based pricing strategy means setting the price of product depending on how much value customers perceive from the product. This type of pricing helps Nike to beat the competition and generate maximum profits. On the other hand, their premium pricing products are sold at a very high rate.  This is because of Nike’s products especially their sneakers and shoes enjoy good brand name and image in the market. 

Nike’s marketing mix prominently features advertisements with high-profile celebrities, reinforcing its premium branding. Additionally, Nike frequently offers discounts and promotions, such as “Easter sales” in both physical stores and online, to retain existing customers and attract new ones.

Nike’s investments in technology allow it to justify premium pricing for its products. However, the company remains mindful of current market conditions when setting its price points and ranges, ensuring its products remain competitively priced.

3. Place 

Nike owns more than 1000 stores across 45 different countries outside the United States. Most of the products are sold from Nike’s own retail store as customers prefer to buy products by trying them physically in the stores. Nike strategically positions its real stores in most of the urban areas where their store is easily accessible to major targeted customers. 

Nike also owns an out store store called Niketown which is combination of multiple stores occupying 4 floors and offering premium services to its customers. Inside this 4 storey building, there are fancy stores offering end number of premium Nike products. It offers an excellent shopping experince to all with both customizable booths and professional zones.

4. Promotion 

Nike’s primary sources of promotion are sponsorships and advertisement campaigns that mostly involve celebrities and high profile athletes from various countries and sports. Among the major sports personalities that Nike collaborates with are Cristiano Ronaldo, Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Rafael Nadal, Kunal Rajput, Mo Farah, and Serena Williams. Besides, Nike also holds the sponsorships on sports like Football, NBA, Cricket, and NFL. 

Nike’s promotional strategy goes beyond traditional ads and promos. They involved in direct communication with schools, colleges, organizations and local sports team for advertisement and promotion. To focus on public relation, they also provide aid to NGOs, which helps them with brand promotion as well. The sales promotion of Nike has offers, discounts and bonuses to its customers. 

Nike also leverages social media as most of the younger generation spend their time on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. It started the Just Do It slogan on social media which went viral. The campaign was first launched in 1988 to motivate everyone to their task efficiently.

Another trademark of Nike is the hashtag #YouCantStopUs sending a message to the public that each sports field is unique and equal. These are Nike’s inspiring campaigns with different themes gaining emotional attachment from its customers.

Nike SWOT Analysis

Nike SWOT Analysis

1. Strength 

A. Strong brand presence

Nike enjoys a strong brand equaty which makes it a global leader in the sports shoe category. In simple terms brand equity means the commercial value enjoyed by the company on the social perception of its products. Brand equity is a combination of three main things: brand loyalty, brand association and brand awareness. With innovative marketing strategies and promotion techniques, Nike has been able to position itself as a leading figures representing the identity of the current generation. 

B. Low manufacturing cost

One of the major reason why Nike is ahead of its competitors is because of its low manufacturing cost, which has also made it a profitable company over the years. Nike has been able to do this by outsourcing the majority of manufacturing tasks to countries that have low wage rate such as China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Taiwan. 

C. Innovative marketing

If you personally ask me which brand excels in marketing, then I would say Nike. Nike has taken marketing to a whole new level. Through the effective use of celebrity endorsement in iconic digital ads and advertisement campaigns, they have surely captured lot of eyeballs. Their famous Just Do It campaign was viral and people still remember it. Nike is also successfully leveraging social media to reach more audiences, especially the younger generation. 

2. Weakness

A. Poor labour practices 

I already mentioned that one of the key strengths of Nike is their low-cost manufacturing process. Their most of the products are made in countries with cheap labour rates. However, several reports also suggests that Nike might have been involved in unethical labour practices in the early days such as offering poor working conditions, low wage rates, extra working hours and more. The company made an effort to combat this situation by having a fair labour association and code of conduct in 1991. 

B. Overdependent in USA 

Though Nike is a global brand, but they are highly dependent on US consumers as majority of their revenue comes from the USA. This may not be a bad thing, but they need to explore new market and try to increase their presence and revenue flow from other countries as well. 

C. Poor relationship with retailers

Nike’s relationship with its third-party retailors is worst and it is going downhill. Another issue that the company faces with third-party retailers is the sale of counterfeit products. These products have the same look and logo as Nike and therefore cause a major loss to the brand image. 

3. Opportunities

A. Exploring new market

Nike has significant opportunities to expand its reach by exploring new markets. This involves targeting emerging economies where rising incomes and urbanization are driving demand for quality athletic wear. Additionally, Nike can focus on digital marketplaces, leveraging e-commerce to reach global consumers more effectively. 

B. Launching new product range

Nike can continue to grow by launching innovative product ranges that cater to diverse consumer needs. This includes developing high-performance athletic gear for both mainstream and niche sports, ensuring that athletes at all levels have access to cutting-edge equipment. 

C. Investing in sustainability 

Sustainability is a critical area where Nike can make substantial investments to enhance its brand reputation and operational efficiency. By adopting sustainable manufacturing practices, Nike can reduce its environmental footprint and appeal to eco-conscious consumers. 

4. Threats 

A. Intense Competition

Nike faces fierce competition from other major athletic brands like Adidas, Under Armour, and Puma, as well as from emerging brands and local competitors in various markets. This intense competition can lead to market share erosion and pressure on pricing and profitability.

B. Market Sensitivity to Economic Fluctuations

Nike’s performance is significantly influenced by global economic conditions. Economic downturns, such as recessions or reduced consumer spending power, can negatively impact sales and profitability. Currency fluctuations and trade tensions also pose financial risks.

C. Supply Chain Disruption

Nike’s extensive global supply chain is vulnerable to disruptions caused by geopolitical issues, natural disasters, pandemics, and other unforeseen events. Such disruptions can lead to delays, increased costs, and potential shortages of products, affecting overall business operations and customer satisfaction.


All this led to a 23% rise in sales during the Olympics. The campaign was so perfect and successful that about 58% of people thought that Nike was the official sponsor. This proved that being a little cunning, bold and a little creative will lead to having an impact. Also it will help you to have Michael Jordan on your team.

FAQs About Nike Marketing Strategy and Marketing Mix

What is Nike’s overall marketing strategy?

Nike focuses on brand building, innovation, and customer engagement through high-profile endorsements and digital marketing.

How does Nike use social media in its marketing strategy?

Nike leverages social media to engage customers, promote products, and share brand stories via platforms like Instagram and Twitter.

What is the role of endorsements in Nike’s marketing?

Endorsements by top athletes and celebrities enhance Nike’s brand credibility and visibility.

How does Nike approach product innovation in its marketing mix?

Nike invests in R&D to create advanced athletic products, maintaining its competitive edge.

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