Digital Marketing at Nike: From Communication to Dialogue

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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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Case Details:


Case Code : MKTG297 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 500;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 500 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Customer Service / Customer Relationship Management
Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 2004-2012
Pub Date : 2012
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Nike
Industry : Sportswear and apparel
Countries : Global


This case is about the digital marketing strategies of leading sportswear and apparel company, Nike, aimed at reaching its target audience. Nike, which is regarded as a marketing powerhouse, started its digital marketing initiatives when it first launched its website '' in 1996 and its online store in 1999. Nike launched a service called 'NikeiD' in 2005 which allowed its customers to design their own shoes online. The company then delivered these shoes to them. Nike later expanded its presence across social networking sites which were increasingly being used by its core customer base. It even launched its own social networking service called Nike+ in 2006.

Marketing Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies

Customers could share their data regarding running records and other health statistics with other users through Nike+. In 2010, Nike launched a new business division called Nike Digital Sport (NDS). The objective of NDS was to develop devices and technologies which would allow its users to track their performance while helping the company get a hold over some vital consumer data. NDS released a new product called 'FuelBand' which could track the energy output of the wearer of the band when he/she was exercising. Over time, Nike reduced its focus on traditional marketing strategies and increased its spending on digital marketing. This case is meant for MBA/MS students as a part of the Information and Communication Technology/ Marketing Communications/ Brand Management curriculum.


The case will help the students:
Understand the growing importance of digital marketing in the marketing mix for companies around the world.
Analyze the reasons behind the growing clout of social media in marketing communications.
Discuss and debate the advantages that Nike has enjoyed by being an early adopter of digital marketing strategies.
Discuss whether Nike is following the correct strategy in reducing its focus on traditional marketing strategies and increasing its focus on digital marketing.
Explore the ways in which Nike can further use its digital marketing strategies to reach its target customer base.
Appreciate the merits of modern digital marketing when compared with the traditional marketing strategies.


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 2
Nike's Past Marketing Initiatives 3
Shift to Digital Marketing 5
New Digital Initiatives 6
Looking Ahead 8
Exhibits 10


Information and Communication Technology; social media; Communication; Marketing Communications; Digital marketing strategies; Brand Management; Brand evolution; Online communities; Social network; Ambush marketing; Social Brand Score; Facebook Brands; Brand value; Sportswear and apparel; ‘NikeiD’; Nike Digital Sport; FuelBand'; Adidas

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