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Nike's Pop Culture Meets Sporting World's Sub-Culture

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It seems as if Nike, a company that undoubtedly dominates the sports apparel industry, is starting to get a little power-hungry.

On Wednesday, June 1st, The New York Times published an article, “Nike Tries to Enter the Sports Niche It Has Missed”, which covers the company’s most recent campaign, “The Chosen” (I have no idea what that is in reference to either). This campaign targets the realm of action sports, an area of athletics that includes more “extreme” sports like surfing, skateboarding, and snowboarding. In order to get this thing right and beat out their competitors of both small and big brand names alike, Nike has put in a tremendous amount of time, effort, and most importantly, money.

I will give Nike some credit, they have done their research and put in a valiant effort to make this campaign a success, a success that will boost their revenue to $27 billion. However, coming from a town where the ability to surf, snow, and skate reins above all other talents, I am skeptical of this move. Action sports breed a certain type of individual, one that can be characterized by originality and non-conformity. Both action sports athletes and enthusiasts tend to embody this personality and adopt this way of life, creating their own exclusive subculture. This attitude of exclusivity is where my skepticism stems because it causes the majority of these individuals to favor the smaller name companies and develop an unwavering loyalty towards them, a loyalty that could make or break Nike’s new venture.

Interestingly enough, this situation can be seen as an anomaly of sorts: the big brand name that would otherwise give Nike the edge over its competitors might actually be working against it. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see if this line does prove to be a success and if Nike will take over yet another sector of the industry.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.