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

            
 
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Case Details:
Case Code : HROB118
Case Length : 12 pages
Period : 2003-2009
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Nike Inc.
Industry : Apparel and Footwear
Countries : USA

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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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"The Nike Sports Knowledge Underground (SKU), an online learning environment for retail employees, plays the urban subway system metaphor to the tilt, with each station representing a training activity."1

- Anders Gronstedt, President, Gronstedt Group, Inc.2, in December 2008.

"We knew that we did a great job of advertising and that we could drive people into the stores, but ultimately the person that is talking to the customer is a 16- to 22-year-old kid… We wanted them to have a better dialogue with the consumer,"3

- Mike Donahue, Program Director / E-Learning Manager, Nike, Inc., in 2005.

Introduction

Nike, Inc. (Nike), one of the world's leading footwear and apparel companies, designed an e-learning program in 2003 for the thousands of sales associates stationed in the stores that sold its products. The interactive web-based training program, called 'Sports Knowledge Underground' (SKU), closely resembled a video game, and immediately caught the attention of industry observers.

While Nike was known for continuously churning out innovative products and building up traffic to the stores through its advertising, it also understood the importance of the front-line sales professionals posted in the stores who facilitated the purchase of its products.

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

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


1] Anders Gronstedt, "All Aboard! The Web 3D Train is Leaving the Station," T+D, www.astd.org, December 2008.
2] Gronstedt Group, Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Colorado, USA, provided consultancy and training on how to improve sales and workplace performance through podcasts, simulations, and virtual worlds.
3] Jessica Marquez, "Faced with High Turnover, Retailers Boot Up E-learning for Quick Training," Workforce Management, August 2005.

 

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