Running is taking off in China. To engage local runners, Nike launched Nike Run Club – a digital campaign that helped local runners come together and discover a new found love for the sport.
Why is running ‘so hot right now” in China?
The rise of running is a combination of several key trends.
- First, as urbanites spend long hours in the office, they are actively seeking more opportunities to exercise.
- Second, local consumers increasingly measuring their health and fitness through their mobile devices.
- Thirdly, city folk – even in China – can get a bit lonely, so are looking for activities to do collectively.
- Fourth, but certainly not least, having a hot body is becoming more important as local selfies go ‘full body’.
What did Nike do to capture this urban trend?
In our report, we analysed how Nike encouraged a deepening of running culture in China.
Through digital and digitally activated events, they helped local runners engage with running culture in a more profound way – by helping them measure their performance, come together as groups and access content about Nike’s long association with running.
The local Nike Run Club campaign was timed strategically create a differentiated connection with new runners. In the local context, where Adidas, Under Armour, Puma, New Balance and Li Ning are all targeting the same group – young urbanites moving their aspirations from luxury, increasingly to sports wear.
In an Olympic year, it was important for Nike to strike early with a strong digital campaign focussed on consumer engagement. Later in the year, the focus will move to celebrity athletes, but Nike has successfully ‘stole a march’ on competitors by make a geniune contribution to China emergent running culture.