What Women Want: How Does Nike Target Female Athletes?
I chose to do an Experiential Senior Individualized Project in the summer and fall of my senior year. The topic of this paper is how female athletes are targeted through sport marketing. How women are depicted in advertisements is also an important component that is discussed. To research this topic a case study was done of the Nike Corporation. This case study includes Nike's ethos in advertising, its marketing strategies, and its forms of advertisements. In relation to the case study, a look into the field of sport marketing and the increase in women's athletics is also provided. The case study of Nike was chosen in relation to my internship at Athletes Comer. Athletes Corner is a sports facility that was in need of help with their marketing techniques. I was able to use the information I gathered from Nike towards improving the sales at Athletes Comer. A new Athletes Corner will be opening in May 2002 and my task was to create a strategic plan to increase the number and variety of clients. Also, I was asked to improve upon some current business practices such as contracts, memberships, and everyday procedures. This paper includes an experiential section about my internship that gives an overview of everything I did at Athletes Comer in my time there from September through December 2001. This section shows the relationship between what I implemented at Athletes Comer and what I have learned in classes at Kalamazoo College. Although the main focus of this project is marketing and I have not had a marketing class at Kalamazoo College, other classes such as microeconomics, macroeconomics, and accounting all played a role in my understanding of the business world. This internship provided me with a chance to use my educational background in business and implement it in a real business market. This section describes how working at Athletes Comer directly benefits my future plans in sports facility management and sport marketing. The research portion of this paper studied how Nike targets female athletes through sport marketing. The goal of this section is to find through what strategies does Nike achieve the targeting of women and how advertisements have evolved due to the increase in the female sector. Consequently, I set to find out how Nike is consistently number one in its field. After the case study of Nike is analyzed, a survey conducted. independently is included. This survey was constructed to find out how much influence Nike ads have on women. In trying to find the answer to this, how women are most inspired, what women want in a Nike ad, and what brand of athletic apparel do most women tend to buy is included. I found that 96% of the sample population participates in sports or fitness activities. $91.53 was average amount spent a year on athletic shoes and $77.48 was the average amount spent a year on athletic apparel. It was found that Nike was the brand bought most for athletic footwear. A surprising conclusion was that Adidas was the brand bought most for athletic apparel at 39% with Nike at 37%. It was also discovered that Michael Jordan was the most familiar athlete associated with Nike.