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Nike Launches A Sneaker Subscription As The Sneaker Wars Heat Up

August 20, 2019 Sarah Cavill

Nike adventure club

Back-to-school shopping is well underway, as kids nationwide present their parents with wish lists and brands strategize to meet consumer needs. Just in time to get in the mix, Nike has officially launched their subscription sneaker plan Nike Adventure Club for kids ages approximately 2-10.

Nike Tests Out The Subscription Concept For Nike Adventure Club Before Officially Launching

Subscriptions have moved beyond a trend to a commonplace marketing approach for businesses interested in scaling revenue, building customer loyalty and introducing new products. However, Nike hasn’t entered into the Nike Adventure Club lightly, testing out the concept under the name Easy Kicks for two years, giving Nike an opportunity to reach 10,000 members in advance of their broader launch. By establishing a user-base before even officially launching under the venerable Nike moniker, the legacy sneaker brand could feel confident there was demand for a kid sneaker subscription program.

Subscriptions are a crowded market, it’s wise to know if you have consumers interested in your product before putting the force of a campaign behind it. According to Amy Konary, Vice President of Customer Business innovation at Zuora, Nike is likely to rely on Nike Adventure Club’s robust and growing membership base to influence the next subscription launch, possibly something for athletes. This homegrown user data is another compelling argument for a well-established and understood consumer base.

Frictionless Transactions Continue To Be One Of The Driving Forces Behind Subscriptions

Nike

“[Nike Adventure Club] provides a wide range of options for kids, while at the same time, it removes a friction point for parents who are shopping on their behalf,” said Dave Cobban, Vice President of Nike Adventure Club. Kids are very hard on sneakers, particularly younger kids who may be spending more time outside and less time sitting in school. They also outgrow them quickly. The ease of the Nike Adventure Club subscription lets parents sit with their kids looking over the more than 100 sneaker options (including Converse), decide on styles, click and move on, avoiding the aggravation of malls, lines and restless little shoppers.

Nike Adventure Club is a tiered subscription, with monthly pricing options including $20 per month for new shoes every 90 days, $30 per month for six pairs a year and $50 per month for monthly sneakers. Each box is personalized and includes an “adventure kit” activity in collaboration with non-profit KaBoom. Nike Adventure Club also makes it easy for parents to recycle worn-out sneakers, which could be an attractive feature for Millennial parents interested in “responsible” brands.

The Renewed “Sneaker Wars” Create Market Groups And Brand Loyalty

Subscriptions are only one way sneaker brands are looking to scale consumer interest. Several big brands have snapped up direct-to-consumer sneaker brands as DTC companies gain in popularity. At the same time established sneaker retailers like Foot Locker are facing competition from high-end resellers Stadium Goods and StockX.  

Whether it’s Yeezys or classic Jordans, sneaker heads are loyal. Subscriptions, particularly from brands like Nike who take their customer curation seriously, offer brands more than just sales. “Which is why [sneaker brands are] trying to move away from isolated transactions towards becoming a meaningful part of people’s lives on an ongoing basis. Subscriptions create a powerful membership effect that reinforces that sense of identity,” said Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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