Written by Ksenija Rodos; Edited by Beatriz Calero
For decades Nike is the market-leading brand for sports wear. Since the foundation of the brand in 1971, Nike always launched new products and lines, expanding their field and target group. When it was worn only by athletes in the beginning, by now almost everyone of us has (or at least had ones in our life’s) some ‘Nikeys’ in the closet. Especially in times like now, where sneakers are a must-have for every fashionistas, Nike creates fashionable shoes for everyone, no matter if you are more the sporty-spice or posh-spice type.
Apart from the fact Nike is still the unbeaten market leader for sports wear, their turnover went a little down in the recent past (still, they are far away from struggling!), so creative directors and brand managers were thinking of something new to throw out on the market and to tap into a new target group. And they came up with some good ideas:
The first new line Nike just launched is the plus-size active wear, which means, some of the active wear item are now available in the sizes XL – 3XL.
In times of fitness blogger are ruling the world of social media, celebrities showcase their daily fitness programmes and being fir and healthy is more than just a trend anymore, the plus-size line is a very good strategy to increase sales numbers. And well, if you want to get in shape, you have to start being sporty from the beginning and what could be more motivating than shrinking in sizes?!
The other new line Nike is launching is a little bit more controversial and people have different opinions about it: The brand will launch a sportive hijab, which will be launched in the Arabic market.
The Nike pro Hijab has been designed and tested by weight lifter Amna Al Haddad and skater Zahra Lari, who are supporting the new Nike campaign saying: “It is a recent phenomenon where more women have expressed a need for it and more professional athletes have fought for rights to compete with a headscarf, and have an equal playing field. We made it big in the news, we couldn’t be ignored.”
It is not new anymore, that women are taking part in sporting competitions in Muslim countries, while still respecting their religious rules and covering their head.
Nike says, they want to encourage more women to become professional athletes and empower them in this way. But on Social Media this campaign faces backlash.
In critical political times as we are facing now, people see this Nike campaign as a supportive oppression of women,
Under the hashtag #nikehijab you can find several posts and discussions about the new campaign, which at least marketing wise is already a win for the brand!