Lessons from Nike on how to respond to major social and cultural events2 min read

Now that you know what to do, here’s some inspiration to get you firing on all your cylinders.

For a long time, Nike has been championing social and cultural events that are important to their fans.

How Nike has responded to major social and cultural events:

  1. Nike launched Play for the World during Covid-19 that brought their fans and athletes together by staying active despite being stuck at home.
  2. In 1995, Nike aired an ad featuring an openly gay and HIV positive runner Ric Munoz, gaining applause from AIDS activists.
  3. During the same year, Nike launched a campaign for advocating gender equality in sports
  4. During 2017, Nike launched a campaign featuring Middle Eastern women pushing social norms in sports.
  5. The controversial ad featuring Colin Kaepernick was a stroke of marketing genius.

Not only are they good at brand advertising, keeping up with Nike’s social presence is a master class in brand management.

Let’s not get carried away, though, Nike has its problems and it wasn’t so long ago when a boycott of Nike products brought the company to its knees.

But they’ve since committed to being the voice of their athletes and redoubled efforts on social causes that resonate with their fans globally.

Nike isn’t the only one.

There are many other brands supporting their fans and proving their purpose in meaningful ways.

  1. Ford Motors ‘Built to lend a hand‘ is a campaign to help its customers who might need help with leasing and credit.
  2. A message of support and compassion from Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day.
  3. Unity a platform for game developers is offering free virtual lessons to anyone interested in learning code because “At this difficult time, we remain committed to making it easier and more intuitive for you to achieve your aspirations. We believe the world is a better place with more creators in it.”
  4. Here are more examples of brands supporting their fans and communities, from Facebook to Dyson to Citi Group and Brewdog.

The lesson here isn’t to do what Nike (or anyone else) does (that would be jumping on the bandwagon).

Instead, find that one thing that you believe in. Ideally, it’s something that empowers others.

Own it. Live it. Breathe it. Do it. Do it all the time and your fans will follow?