Nike Inc.'s Business Continuity Strategy during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Nike Inc.'s Business Continuity Strategy during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Case Code: BSTR626
Case Length: 19 Pages
Period: 2020
Pub Date: 2021
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization: Nike Inc.
Industry: Retailing
Countries: United States
Themes: Crisis Management & Conflict, Digital Strategy,
Nike Inc.'s Business Continuity Strategy during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


The case discusses US-based sportswear giant Nike Inc.’s (Nike) response to Covid-19 or the Coronavirus pandemic. The Covid-19 outbreak that started in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, soon spread to countries across the world, and led to consumers and businesses taking precautions to prevent transmission of the disease. People were forced to stay indoors as lockdowns were imposed in many countries. This affected many industries and Nike was also badly hit. The retailer reported that 90% of the company-owned stores in the Americas, the Asia-Pacific, and Europe were closed down for eight weeks in the fourth quarter of 2020 in a bid to protect the health and safety of its workers and the consumers during the pandemic.

Nike’s digital prowess helped the company tackle the crisis to a certain extent. The retailer offered the premium version of its Nike Training Club (NTC) app, which offered virtual workouts, free to consumers in China. Applying its China Playbook, Nike offered the premium version of its NTC app free to all US consumers for 90 days. The retailer also promoted a new advertising campaign ‘Play Inside, Play for the World’ encouraging consumers to stay healthy and connected at home amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nike’s efforts to tackle the crisis led to its reporting a 47% increase in digital revenue in fiscal 2020. However, the company had to grapple with the challenge of built-up inventory attributable to store closures during the pandemic. With these being early days of the pandemic, some analysts opined that it could be a tough road ahead for Nike as the company would have to cope with the full impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • Understand how a company’s digital focus helps it to overcome the challenges posed by the external business environment.
  • Understand the issues and challenges faced by companies during pandemics and explore strategies on how they can tackle those challenges.
  • Discuss the importance of crisis management and crisis communication.
  • Employ strategies that would help balance Nike’s need for business continuity and keeping its customers engaged digitally with the need for protecting its employees and customers.
  • Explore the strategy Nike can use in future to come out of this public health crisis.



Nike Inc., digital business, Covid-19 pandemic, business continuity planning, ambush marketing, brand identity, brand image, online platforms, Play Inside, Play for the World campaign, You Can’t Stop Us campaign, Never Too Far Down’ campaign Nike Training Club, FIFA World Cup, Consumer Direct Acceleration

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