Nike's 'Sports Knowledge Underground' E-learning Initiative

            
 
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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.



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Case Details:

Price:

Case Code : HROB118 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges

Themes

Training & Development / Training Design / e-learning / Sales Training
Case Length : 12 pages
Period : 2003-2009
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Nike Inc.
Industry : Apparel and Footwear
Countries : USA

Abstract:

By the early2000s, Nike, Inc. (Nike), one of the world's leading footwear and apparel companies, had became well-known for continuously churning out innovative products and building up traffic to the stores through its advertising. However, the company realized that the customers' purchase decision was influenced by the sales associates they interacted with on the stores. So, training these employees was very necessary, but the fact that most of the sales associates were in their late teens or early 20s posed a challenge as this group brought their own unique characteristics to the workplace and was not very receptive to the traditional forms of training. Moreover, the turnover of the sales associates was very high.

Human Resource and Organization Behavior | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Human Resource and Organization Behavior, Case Studies

This meant that the company always had new associates who needed to be trained on selling skills and product knowledge. But providing them with training through traditional means was not a viable option due to the high turnover rate.

To address these challenges, a team at Nike designed an e-learning program in 2003 called Nike 'Sports Knowledge Underground' (SKU) for the thousands of sales associates stationed in its own stores and that of other retailers that kept Nike inventory. The interactive web-based training program closely resembled a video game, and immediately caught the attention of industry observers.

Issues:

To understand entry behavior in designing and implementing a training program.

To analyze the Nike 'Sports Knowledge Underground' program and how it enabled training of Nike's front-line sales force.

To understand the issues and challenges in designing and implementing an e-learning program.

To discuss the pros and cons of using an e-learning program.

To discuss how training can be imparted through modes such as video games and over the mobile phone (m-learning) and the viability of this.

Contents:

  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 2
The Challenge 3
Sports Knowledge Underground 4
Results 6
Exhibits 8

Key Words:

Training, Sales training, Training design, Entry behavior, e-learning, m-learning, Simulation, instructional design, product training, Communication, Generation Y, Digital generation, Sports Knowledge Underground, retail, Nike

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