Ten Things We Learned From Nike's Investor Day

Tales of the $100M Sock Business and How Much the Russian Market Is Worth

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Nike CEO Mark Parker
Nike CEO Mark Parker

Nike shed its tightlipped status today, as the marketer readily spewed stats, stories and shareholder goals at its world headquarters outside Portland, Oregon. It was the brand's first investor day since 2011, and the company trotted out footwear designer-turned-CEO Mark Parker and VP-Global Categories General Manager Jayme Martin and other executives. They talked about growing markets, the appeal of elite basketball socks and Nike's supply chain.

We weren't able to make it, but everyone from ESPN's Darren Rovell to The Oregonian's Allen Brettman and Portland Business Journal's Matthew Kish was there and tweeting up a storm. Here's what we learned about the innovative marketer's consumer engagement tactics and its plans for growth in the months ahead:

  1. LeBron advises Nike
    LeBron James gave the company the idea to create a shoe in kid colors, such as neon yellow and green. The youth athlete business is worth $3 billion.
  2. Brazil is the next target
    By the end of fiscal 2014, geographies and sales president Elliot Hill expects Brazil will be a $1 billion market, making it will be Nike's third largest country globally. With the upcoming World Cup and Olympics in Brazil, the brand made a timely launch of Nike.com in the country last week.
  3. Women's business is weak in North America
    The women's business at Nike makes up less than 25% of the North American market. Look for that to grow, said brand president Trevor Edwards.
  4. Elite socks a $100 million market for Nike
    That's right. Socks are big business. Nike retails these athletic socks for as much as $35. The real driver for the category is third-party entrepreneurs who scoop them up then make limited-edition prints. Nike doesn't get a cut of that after-market mark-up, but apparently it's still good for business.
  5. Nike+ equals profit
    More than 15,000 people a day join Nike+, the system of apps and gear that lets people measure their athletic progress. Nike+ consumers spend "signficiantly more with us," according to VP Jayme Martin.
  6. Nike is on a quest for world domination
    Nike's supply chain, via Matthew Kish includes 700 factories in 42 countries -- and 1 million workers.
  7. Nike hits reset on the China strategy
    The fastest-growing market for Nike has posted a 3% decline, according to Bloomberg, and Nike has yet to hit its $4 billion sales goal in China. To spur sales in its second-largest market, Nike plans to create a targeted experience for Chinese consumers by getting "the right product to the right door."
  8. As China slows, Russia heats up
    Nike believes the Russian market will be worth $1 billion by 2017.
  9. No messing around with patents
    Since last year, Nike has gained 650 patents, according to Bloomberg. Compare that to Adidas' 30 and Under Armour's 24. The message to investors: Nike is taking innovation and technology seriusly.
  10. Two-year goal: $30 billion in revenue
    CEO Mark Parker said he wants to hit $30 billion in annual revenue by 2015 and $36 billion by 2017. It's revenue for Fiscal Year 2013 was $25.3 billion.
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