For as long as we can remember, Nike has been rooting for athletes to find inspiration and purpose in what they do. One way the brand has integrated this messaging into its marketing strategy is by targeting communities and building on its identity. Recently, the brand announced the launch of its 'Sport is Never Done' campaign, Communicate spoke with Mohamed Bodiat, Senior Vice President Brands, Sports from GMG, Nike’s official distributor in the Middle East to discuss the campaign's ripple effect in the region and how it helps Nike drive growth.
A couple of months ago, a short film featuring kids in the Middle East challenging the many misconceptions to play different sports took social media by storm. The film was an extension of Nike’s ‘Sport is Never Done’ campaign – the film explored the relationship that kids enjoy with sport and addresses popular parental misconceptions about physical activity especially localized to the Middle East.
Communicate discusses the campaign's reach and strategy ahead with Mohamed Bodiat, Senior Vice President Brands, Sports from GMG, Nike’s official distributor in the Middle East. Bodiat also sheds light on consumer behaviors that the campaign targeted.
Who is the campaign specifically targeted to?
The “sport is never done” campaign speaks to the parents of the next generation of athletes. At Nike, we consider anyone who has a body to be an athlete and envisions the future of sports to be creative, inclusive, and unlimited in possibilities. By joining forces with parents, our aim is to empower kids to be active participants in shaping the future now rather than later when they are adults.
Were there any consumer behaviors that inspired the campaign?
Of course. If we want to inspire positive change that caters to the next generation of athletes’ needs, it is essential to start by listening to them.
Children today have a perspective on their world and a relationship to sports that’s unlike any previous generation. We have to learn and understand more about the emotional and physical barriers that kids today face – in sports and in life, from them directly. “Sport is never done” was all about lending kids our voice, and providing a platform for positive change, by involving parents.
What was the campaign's creative process like?
The main driver of the campaign is our belief in progress. We believe that in sports, it is not just about the finish line, but the journey toward it. That is progress, which is always possible in sports and in the world.
We’ve listened for a long time, and the more we did, the more we’ve learned about the opportunity we have as Nike to play a role in redefining sport for generations to come through initiatives such as “sport is never done.”
What is the marketing objective of the campaign?
We believe play is the gateway to the sport. In fact, we don’t do sports, we play sports. The ultimate objective of this campaign is to inspire every athlete to play more while highlighting to parents the important role they have in this journey. It was also to showcase the endless possibilities that children have when it comes to exploring and finding the ‘play’ that brings them the most happiness.
How has the region responded to the campaign?
The response to the campaign has been overwhelmingly positive within communities globally. In fact, the “Rise of the Kids” film, which was first revealed upon the launch of the campaign, has been watched over 21 million times to date. We’re pleased to see that the film has resonated so well in the Middle East.
The film is an imaginative vision of sport through the lens of kids in the Middle East and explores the relationship that kids enjoy with sports, addressing popular parental misconceptions about physical activity.
What's next on the strategy for the campaign?
As part of the "sport is never done” campaign, we’ve recently partnered with YouGov to conduct a survey with parents in the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to get better a better understanding of the perceived benefits of kids playing sports. The survey showed that 79% and 62% of parents in the two markets respectively thought that the main benefit of having their children participate in sports was for physical fitness and/or development.
This finding amongst others helped outline additional areas we would like to shed light on, including the many transferable skills kids can learn from playing sports, beyond physical fitness.
Progress is possible, and our journey to inspiring positive change continues.