Nike’s business is on fire.
The company is the biggest player in the athletic apparel market, with $US28 billion in annual sales. Its biggest competitor, Under Armour, sells just $US3 billion.
Nike has plans to grow the business even larger by focusing on a few key demographics.
“Everything we do starts with the consumer,” CEO Mark Parker told investors during a recent conference call. “It’s our obsession with serving the consumer that sharpens our focus and drives our growth.”
Here are the three consumers Nike is focusing on the most.
Nike is expanding women’s apparel, especially sports bras and tights.
Sales of Nike’s training and running apparel for women grew by double digits in the last quarter, outpacing the mens’ business, Parker said.
The company also released a new couture-style collection with offbeat items like skirts and lace-trimmed jerseys.
Women in their 20s and 30s are largely driving the “athleisure trend,” in which customers buy leggings with the intent of wearing them to the gym, errands, and brunch.
Nike says the womens’ line could add $US2 billion in additional sales by 2017.
2. Young athletes
Kids who play sports are a growing part of Nike’s business, according to Parker.
Nike gets young athletes to wear its products through sponsorships with local leagues, clubs, and federations.
It also sees partnerships with professional athletes as an important way to draw young customers in.
All NFL teams currently wear Nike gear. The brand also has partnerships with scores of famous athletes including basketball star Kobe Bryant and tennis champion Roger Federer.
Under Armour has also started signing famous athletes as a way to draw in young customers.
Much of Nike’s innovation efforts are focused in the running category, according to Parker.
Despite this focus, the running category isn’t performing as well as the brand would like.
“The pace of innovation at Nike has never been faster, and our pipeline has never been more robust,” he told investors. “Running is our heritage and our largest performance category.”
New running shoes include the LunarTempo, which is designed for distance runners. Nike is also innovating running apparel to better compete with Lululemon, Under Armour, and Adidas.
The company also revamped its Nike+ running app.
Nike+ lets runners track their route, distance, pace, time, and calories. It also lets them share photos and compare progress with their friends.
Nike sponsors grassroots running events around the world to recruit new customers.
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