Nike CEO John Donahoe Says He’s Chasing Generation Alpha
Nike’s annual employee survey showed an improvement in inclusion from 2020 to 2021, but Donahoe says the job is far from done. “We have this phrase at Nike, you never reach the finish line – it’s a great example of that.”
The driving force behind the connection within the company is the passion for sport. “Nike is a goal-oriented company. And, I think there’s a bit of self-selection,” Donahoe says. “I would say that of the 75,000 employees at Nike, almost all joined Nike because of the purpose of Nike and a deep love for sport and the belief that sport can make the world a better place and bring hope and inspiration. to a world that needs it.”
The sprawling college campus of Nike’s world headquarters, with its more than 8,000 employees, will delight sports fans with running tracks, basketball courts, a full-size football (soccer) field and approximately 70 buildings bearing the name. great sportsmen such as Michael Jordan and Seb Coe. . The new million-square-foot Serena Williams Building, home to Nike’s design teams, features rare memorabilia including William’s winning outfits and post-game notes, as well as themed restaurants based on his Grand Slam victories. There’s a Wimbledon restaurant with custom British-themed wallpaper printed with London telephone boxes and double-decker buses. The Roland Garros café, on the other hand, is entirely themed around Parisian tropes, right down to the bathrooms, stylized like the stations of the Paris metro.
Nike’s stance on social issues has resonated with young people, who want brands that align with their values. Nike has backed American footballer Colin Kaepernick after he was fired for taking the knee – and the company has donated $140 million to black community organizations in response to BLM. “It looks easy in hindsight and maybe it looks easy from afar, but advocating for social issues is always going to be difficult,” Donahoe says. “It’s about having the courage to stand up and have a point of view and then being human to say that we don’t always succeed – I think that’s really important,” he adds. he. “I talk a lot about the importance of authenticity and vulnerability. This is partly how we connect with young people today.
SNKRS and Resale
One of the success stories was Nike’s Snkrs app, launched in 2015 to sell more expensive and coveted sneakers in the popular drop model, pioneered by streetwear. Nike says demand on Snkrs has increased by up to 400% during the pandemic, with more customers than ever entering a raffle to purchase a pair. And interest continues to grow: in the first quarter of 2022, Nike reported that demand on the Snkrs app had increased by 130%.
“While this has been a huge driver of Nike’s success, there’s plenty of room for improvement with the Snkrs app,” says Binetti of Credit Suisse. “On days when Nike has high-profile launches, if you follow on Twitter, Instagram or TikTok, some big sneakerheads get frustrated because they get to the checkout point and then lose their sale – so they still have some room to improve.”