Category offense means investment game on at NIKE. In May, NIKE, Inc. held its first investors conference in three years. The purpose of the meeting was to provide a progress report on their sweeping transformation initiative dubbed “category offense”. The transcripts revealed the normal NIKEisms and aggressive marketing language that we’ve come to expect from this $27 billion company. But the substance and depth of discussion surrounding business initiatives and performance metrics was noteworthy. Taken in conjunction with the most recent earnings conference call of September 23, these disclosures provide the most transparency we’ve ever seen into the business and spending priorities of this global company.
NIKE has key business initiatives underway in a number of areas. They’re working with manufacturing partners to accelerate production and capacity utilization to alleviate capacity constraints. They’re increasing investments in the direct-to-consumer businesses (online and company-owned retail stores) to integrate these formats. They’re doubling down on the apparel business, intending to “quadruple the investment” in apparel product innovation across its seven key categories. And, according to their CEO, they want to get better at collaborating with strategic partners, including retail partners, manufacturing partners, and strategic suppliers.Read More »