Nike has had many famous partnerships, including with some of the world’s most famous sports stars, but now it is getting involved in a special kind of collaboration.
The brand has announced a new partnership with subscription-based performance tracking app and website Strava, helping connect the most famous of brands to the everyday performance of anyone who wants to get fit and improve their athletic and sporting feats.
At the heart of the deal is the ability of subscribers to share details of their efforts to both the Nike Run Club and the Nike Training Club Apps on the one hand and to Strava on the other, which enables them both to track their workouts and connect with the community across both platforms.
This also means subscribers can access a Nike-branded club on Strava that will play host to challenges and offer content from Nike’s own coaches and top athletes. In addition to this, subscribers get access to the global community of 750,000 sporting clubs linked to the Strava platform.
A key feature of the challenges hosted by Nike will be the shared goals involved, which means that participants will be able to take inspiration and get tips via the interaction that the expanded community gives them. This will give a big boost to those people who don’t get to train with others in their own geographical area but can benefit from online support.
Nike stated that this partnership helps aid its mission of using online community and connectivity to make sport an everyday feature of people’s lives.
Michael Horvath, the CEO and founder of Strava, said: "By partnering with Nike, we're able to connect two powerful global sport communities on the Strava platform to create meaningful spaces for active people to come together daily."
This partnership represents a new frontier for Nike. Hitherto, its most important collaborations have always been with top athletes. The game-changer that made Nike a leading global brand came in the 1980s with the signing of Michael Jordan, a story recently making it to the silver screen in the film Air.
However, since then there has been a plethora of top sports stars signing up with the firm. Current ambassadors include global stars like Tiger Woods, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal and LeBron James, as well as a number of other NBA and American football stars.
This, however, is something a bit different. It may be that fans would love to shoot baskets like James, drive a golf ball like Tiger, leap and power home a header like Ronaldo, or whip a forehand winner like Nadal. But for all but a tiny elite few, such feats remain an aspiration they will never achieve.
However, the Strava partnership brings things back down to the level of the ordinary member of the public who simply wants to improve their own performance. The targets set may not involve major trophies, gold medals, or making personal fortunes, but will see personal goals chased and achieved.
It is a reminder that while most cannot hope to match the feats of the greatest sports stars, it is still a more than worthy goal to achieve new personal bests, while sharing in a community that both supports achievement and celebrates excellence.
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