Nike to speed up innovation cycle for its market in China

BEIJING: Nike Inc, the leading global sportswear producer, is doubling down on the Chinese market by leveraging a fast-responsive and localised creative platform and innovations centring on its patented air technology to drive future growth.

This initiative aims to invigorate freshness, solidify its dominant position in the sportswear industry, and enhance its connections with younger consumers globally.

John Donahoe, president and chief executive officer of Nike, in an interview with China Daily, said the company would continue to invest steadily in the Chinese market.

“China is a very important market for Nike. It always has been and always will be. We’re committed to investing in China. We believe in China.

“We’ll keep doubling down on our proven playbook for success in driving innovative products in China,” said Donahoe.

In China, Nike Inc posted a 6% year-on-year sales growth to US$2.08bil in the third quarter of fiscal year 2024, the sixth consecutive quarterly rise for the sportswear company.

The company has leveraged its global innovation platform to drive newness in China.

“You will see us increasingly bringing exciting innovations all over the world based on Air technology,” said Donahoe.

“We can hyper-localise them for markets in China and other markets.”

For example, the launch of Air Max DN shoes is expected to have a China-specific version, featuring local colourways, collaborations, campaigns and athletes engagements, he said.

Nike has invested more than two billion yuan in its technology centre in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, and the automated storage and retrieval system in its China logistics centre in recent years.

The company is also investing in local innovation capabilities as demonstrated in the establishment of the Nike sport research lab this year.

The company is also investing in hyper-localising its storytelling and brand through Icon Shanghai, which plans to be a creative studio programme aimed at translating global messaging into locally resonant content, responding rapidly to the dynamic Chinese market.

“We are going to speed up the innovation cycle for each season and each product based on the market feedback,” said Donahoe.

“We want Nike to be a global brand for China consumers and it’s of China.” — China Daily/ANN

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