Nike sell sporting apparel to an audience they call Athletes*. A broad definition of those who participate in sports in some way - not just professional players or sports obsessed. But in Milan, a city of high-heels and high-fashion not running shoes and tracksuits, where participation numbers are low - there's nowhere for the brand to grow unless sports numbers do as well.
Faced with a particularly significant disparity between young men and women's participation rates in Milan Nike decided to tackle the problem head on. Rather than duplicating the, currently in vogue, "rallying cry of empowerment" approach the brand sought to truly understand the barriers for young women in Milan and create a long-term behaviour change programme that would lead to real action, not just social sharing.
Building on an understanding of the type of messaging young women have been receiving in the '1 Os and what still stood in the way of their taking up sporting in Milan Nike created a 3-phased approach to take them on a journey. First capturing their attention by heroing their existing skills, then creating a sense of peer support, before creating spaces for them to take their sport participation to the next level. Did they? Did they ever! Read on.