Social Media News


Nike Acquires NFL Star Russell Wilson’s Startup, TraceMe

October 30, 2019 Digital Media Solutions

Russell Wilson has worn Nike cleats since 2016, after landing a sponsorship deal with the U.S. sportswear giant, but the Seattle Seahawk quarterback’s associations with the iconic “Swoosh” now goes beyond his footwear choices. The NFL star’s startup TraceMe was acquired by Nike this month.

TraceMe Strives To Bridge The Gap Between Celebrities And Their Most Passionate Followers

Founded in 2017, TraceMe began as an app that aimed to connect athletes and celebrities with their fans through exclusive behind-the-scenes content. Wilson came up with the idea for TraceMe after interacting with countless fans, but the lightbulb really went off after his weekly visits to the Seattle Children’s Hospital where he met with kids who often asked about Seahawks games. “I wanted to take these kids with me,” said Wilson. “I want to take them on this journey and joyride with me, through the ups and downs, and deliver amazing high-level content, but also raw content — something you can relate to. That’s where it clicked for me.”

Nike Grabs An Opportunity With TraceMe

In 2017, its first year of launching, TraceMe was valued at $60 million with the backing of investors including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, YouTube Founder Chad Hurley and Alibaba Co-Founder Joe Tsai. In 2018, TraceMe shifted focus to a new idea called Tally, a platform that enables sports teams, broadcasters and fans to engage in sports events by predicting plays, stats and scores. Interested in the original TraceMe platform, Nike officially acquired TraceMe this month to supplement Nike’s content strategy on Nike-owned platforms. Wilson showcased his acquisition excitement on Twitter as he tweeted Nike’s slogan, “Just Do It.” Although Nike has confirmed the purchase, it is still unclear what will happen to Tally, or exactly how Nike plans to use TraceMe.

Nike’s Push Toward Technology

While the “Swoosh” may be best known for its footwear and apparel, Nike is making a push towards digital, investing heavily in tech and digital initiatives. In April, Nike sought to trademark two terms pertaining to tech: the word “footwear” to use in reference to its “smart” sneakers, and the word “cryptokicks,” to be used for a Nike cryptocurrency. Last month, the company’s shares hit an all-time high, in part due to their stronger digital approach. Nike’s digital business was up 42% in the most recent quarter, driven by mobile experiences, as Nike saw overall revenue increase by 7%. “While products are usually the first to grab the attention of our consumers, we deepen those relationships through the power of digital,” said Nike CEO Mark Parker. Nike’s dominance in sports apparel, along with its strategic digital transformation including its most recent TraceMe acquisition, can help extend its competitive advantage by breaking down boundaries and connecting with consumers on a more personal level.

Looking To Expand Your Brand Into Digital Media?

Contact DMS

About the Author

Digital Media Solutions

Digital Media Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: DMS) is a leading provider of technology-enabled digital performance advertising solutions connecting consumers and advertisers within auto, home, health and life insurance plus a long list of top consumer verticals. The DMS first-party data asset, proprietary advertising technology, significant proprietary media distribution and data-driven processes help digital advertising clients de-risk their advertising spend while scaling their customer bases. Learn more at

Follow on Twitter Follow on Linkedin Visit Website More Content by Digital Media Solutions
Previous Article
Dior & Gucci Are Outfitting Their Brand Marketing With AR
Dior & Gucci Are Outfitting Their Brand Marketing With AR

AR is changing the ways consumers experience fashion. Luxury fashion brands Dior and Gucci have incorporate...

Next Article
Reddit Increases Visibility Through New Content Sharing Integration With Snapchat
Reddit Increases Visibility Through New Content Sharing Integration With Snapchat

In its first native content sharing integration, Reddit hopes to increase brand awareness and broaden its a...


Thank you!
Error - something went wrong!
× Streams