Tag: Nike

Nike Faces Lawsuit Accusing It Of ‘Fraud’ For Air Jordan 1 Trademark

Image via Rowan Patrick Photos / Shutterstock.com

At the start of June, Nike was awarded the trademark and patent on its signature Air Jordan 1 design, aiding the sportswear giant in its battle against bootleg replicas.

Despite releasing the first Michael Jordan-inspired sneakers in 1985, the brand only secured the design’s patent 36 years later.

Now, Nike’s newly-awarded patent is coming under fire from bootleggers, customizers, and creatives. According to Input, New York City attorney Robert Lopez filed a countersuit against Nike, alleging the brand had committed fraud in its trademark filing.

Lopez’s suit highlights an issue of Nike trademarking the Air Jordan 1 design without its iconic Swoosh.

While Nike could argue the sneaker’s silhouette is recognizable even without the distinct motif, Lopez’s complaint takes issue with the omission as the brand has never released a pair without the Swoosh. Hence, it argues Nike’s trademark was “improperly issued.”

“Nike, Inc. is attempting to secure an IP portfolio of unregistrable or improperly registered marks so that it can implement its enforcement actions against small and independent clothing store owners to gain a strong hold and monopoly over the sneaker and apparel industry,” the suit reads, as per Input.

It’s still unclear if Lopez’s countersuit has enough legs to cause concern for Nike, though it’s admirable to see small businesses hit back at giant brands in an attempt to protect their creative freedom.

[via Input, cover image via Rowan Patrick Photos / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414350/Nike-Faces-Lawsuit-Accusing-It-Of-Fraud-For-Air-Jordan-1-Trademark/

Nike Rebuked By Kobe Bryant’s Estate After Images Of Unauthorized Shoes Surface

Image via Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com

Back in April this year, Kobe Bryant’s estate announced that it would not be continuing its collaboration with Nike, despite fans wanting a return of the Nike Kobe line.

The following month, Bryant’s estate launched its own clothing line, Mambacita, spearheaded by the late basketball superstar’s widow, Vanessa Bryant.

The Mambacita range was released on May 1, in honor of Gigi Bryant’s 15th birthday, with proceeds from the collection going towards the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation – a nonprofit started in memory of Kobe and Gigi.

Now, controversy has arisen between Bryant’s estate and its old partner, Nike. As per Footwear News, Vanessa Bryant took to Instagram this week, calling out the sportswear giant after images of an unreleased design surfaced online.

Featuring a picture of the shoe in question, Vanessa Bryant said, “This is a shoe I worked on in honor of my daughter, Gianna. It was going to be called the Mambacita shoe as an exclusive black and white colorway on her daddy’s shoes.”

“The Mambacita shoes are not approved for sale. I wanted it to be sold to honor my daughter with all of the proceeds benefitting our foundation but I did not re-sign the Nike contract and decided not to sell these shoes,” she continued.

The matter gets even muddier as famed sneaker collector, Qias Omar, replied to the post, saying people had been reaching out and trying to sell him the unreleased shoe.

“Footpatrol in the UK accidentally sent these to customers who ordered another colorway of the Kobe 6. They were supposed to receive the Grinch I believe but got these instead,” he said.

“Footpatrol contacted them after asking for the pairs back but obviously no one gave them back. I got messages by a few people trying to sell me pairs. They are real. Just not supposed to be sold yet I guess,” Omar explained further.

As of now, both Nike and Footpatrol have yet to respond to requests for comments. While the matter is far from over, it’s indeed surprising to see shoes that weren’t supposed to be made out in the open market.

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A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant)

[via Footwear News, cover image via Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414224/Nike-Rebuked-By-Kobe-Bryant-s-Estate-After-Images-Of-Unauthorized-Shoes-Surface/

Nike’s Amusing New Ad Has You Nagged At By A Lousy, ‘Toxic’ Soccer Ball

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Image via Black Kite Studios

Nike is giving toxic masculinity in sports a flying kick with a witty new campaign antagonizing an item it usually celebrates: a soccer ball.

Throughout the film, entitled Nice Guys Finish Last, viewers are hurled outdated advice about soccer by a grumpy, tattered, “toxic” ball resembling the Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter movies.

The hellish 50 seconds of nagging comes to an end when Manchester United player Marcus Rashford runs forward and gives the nasty soccer ball a kick, indicating the end of a toxic era.

The advertisement, produced by advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy London and visual effects firm Black Kite Studios, is in continuation of Nike’s Play New campaign which encourages all—including the clumsy—to give sports a go.

[via LBB and Ads of the World, video and cover image via Black Kite Studios] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414215/Nike-s-Amusing-New-Ad-Has-You-Nagged-At-By-A-Lousy-Toxic-Soccer-Ball/

How to Tell a Captivating Brand Story

Using storytelling as a tool for brands to engage consumers is not a new concept and it usually doesn’t take much convincing to get brand executives on board. After all, stories are how our brains make sense of the world. They’re how we relate to each other, how we create meaning from our own experiences, and how we humanize brands to create a more personal experience for consumers.

If you want to incorporate more captivating storytelling into your brand messaging this year, the tools below are a great place to start.

Focus on your purpose, not your product

Founders are often shocked to hear that the products they’ve worked so hard to perfect should not actually be front and center of their brand story. As hard as it is to hear, your product is not your story. Rather, your story lies in your purpose – your reason for existing at all. Your products are just part of your toolset to help you get there.

Nike is a great example of this concept in action. Nike’s mission is to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world (and if you have a body, you’re an athlete). With this mission as the driver of their ad campaigns and social content, they share stories like this and this, which have little to do with their products and everything to do with their purpose.

It’s difficult to tell emotional stories about products and much easier to elicit emotion from a mission. By telling stories that speak to their mission of inspiring the athletes in all of us, Nike creates an emotional connection to their brand that engages consumers and creates space for them to sell pretty much anything, as long as it feeds this mission. Nike could release a pair of shoelaces that support this brand purpose tomorrow and we’d all undoubtedly flock to the stores to purchase them, not because we believe that shoelaces are imperative to strong athletic performance, but because we believe that Nike supports us as athletes.

Name the hero (and the villain)

Your customers are the heroes of your story, so make that known by naming the villain they’re up against. It could be global warming, or toxic makeup, or the patriarchy. Whatever problem your brand hopes to solve, it must be front and center in your story.

Not sure who to villainize in your story? Think back to your purpose. What are you protecting your customers against? What behaviors does your brand attempt to change with its existence? The enemy does not need to be your competitor. It can simply be the problem your brand aims to solve through its products, mission and messaging.

Think of your brand as a guide or mentor of sorts, steering your customers (the heroes) along the path toward their goal. Your products are part of the toolkit to help defend against the villain.

Dove does a great job of positioning the brand as a mentor on their mission toward eradicating low self esteem among girls and women worldwide. Over and over again, they tackle the villain of low self esteem through creative campaigns that portray its perils, often due to unrealistic societal expectations and dangerous stories we tell ourselves or have been told through media and pop culture. They portray their consumers as the heroes of their own stories, with Dove acting as a guide to help these heroes get to where they’re going (in this case, the other side of the self esteem scale).

Share mishaps and misadventures

A captivating story arc is just that – an arc, not a straight line. As such, it must include some trials along the way in order to keep things interesting. Not only that, but these experiences build trust between brands and consumers. Sharing vulnerable stories humanizes your brand and creates a sense of shared experience.

I love to look to Rachel Hollis as an example of this in action. Rachel Hollis is a brand in her own right, and her purpose is to support personal and professional growth for individuals who crave it. She backs this brand purpose by sharing captivating stories of her own success and the details of how she came to be where she is today.

However, she’s not afraid to share micro-moments of failure or setbacks with her audience as a means of humanizing her brand and keeping her audience engaged with a relatable story. She’s shared the ebbs and flows of her success in two of her NYT bestsellers and often takes to Instagram to highlight some of her more vulnerable moments, like this one and this one.

Don’t feel pressured to create a fairytale ending

Finally, I’ll leave you with what I think is one of the most important ingredients for successful storytelling. We’ve been trained to view a story as incomplete if it doesn’t include a happy ending where the villain is slain and the mission is accomplished. Let go of this pressure to share your story inclusive of a neatly packaged ending and embrace where you are right now on the journey, whether it’s celebrating a win or in the throes of a battle. A mission-driven brand launch usually signifies the beginning of a captivating story, not the end, and if you’re true to your brand from day one, you’ll undoubtedly build a loyal consumer base that lifts you up through rough patches.

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The post How to Tell a Captivating Brand Story appeared first on Social Media Week.


How to Prepare Your Brand for the Not So Distant Future: 2.22.22

Where will the world be on February 2, 2022? What can we expect the business landscape to look like? What brands will see success and which ones won’t? What will be important to consumers?

All of these are important questions that are top of mind for marketers and will continue to be in the months and years ahead. During #SMWONE Suzy CEO Matt Britton tapped into up to the minute research from his team to play the role of futurist and paint a broad picture of the world we will be living in on the other side of COVID-19.

Here are the primary insights and takeaways:

  • Consumers want variety; not quantity when it comes to their purchases
  • Secondary and tertiary cities are on the path to become the new “hot spots”
  • People are ultimately more fascinating than brands and influencers will be behind the brands that take off

Living: the “accordion effect”

According to Britton, the global pandemic will result in an “accordion effect” in which people will gravitate away from the big cities like New York or San Francisco. Meanwhile, secondary and tertiary cities like Columbus, Ohio, Denver, Colorado, and Denton, Texas are on the path to become the new “hot spots.” “Suburban sprawl simply is not that appealing to the millennial generation,” he added.

What are the tangential effects of this transition? Appreciation is these lower-tiered markets and home prices in areas like New York or San Francisco leveling off. With this, we may see a trickle-down effect whereby there is a resurgence in automobile purchases. This potential increase in demand for consumers buying cars, however, could result in reduced demand in the long-term, for ride-sharing companies like Lyft and Uber preferred for their ubiquity.

Buying: consumers want variety

Consumers want variety; not quantity when it comes to apparel. One may assume this would open the window of opportunity for retailers but in a down market, this isn’t the case. Britton elaborated with several examples including J.Crew recently filing for bankruptcy and Gap claiming some of its stories will never reopen.

“These companies surely lean too heavily into a brick and mortar layout and did not pivot nearly fast enough to an e-commerce model,” Britton explained.

He pointed to Rent the Runway (RTR) and Ipsy, recently announcing it surpassed $5M in revenue, as prime examples of business models that will continue to be sustainable because the trends of consumers wearing garments less and less or wanting the convenience of beauty products sent to their home is not going to reverse.

Another important retail trend: companies will increasingly look to take over control of their own consumer experience. Nike, for instance, pulled its products off of Amazon this past November. This also holds for the CPG space. In a world of Amazon Prime, companies including Million Dollar Shave Clubface increased pressure to establish a more scalable e-commerce strategy.

“If I’m the CPGs, I’m trying to form a coalition where there are prime benefits where Costco, with traditional CPGs, can compete against Amazon, and maybe P&G one day will make the same decision that Nike made,” explained Britton.

The growing role of influencers

Surfacing headlines are posing the common question: could the coronavirus kill the influencer culture? Per Britton, “influencer culture is just begging and it is here to stay.”

Something Navy fashion blogger cracked a deal with Nordstrom and started to sell her own clothing. In this wavelength, he also mentioned Danielle Berstein who with her “We Wore What” blog is building a bigger audience through socially responsible posts across content and supporting small businesses with her efforts. IN turn, she’s seeing tremendous success via launching new products with numerous retailers.

“People are ultimately more fascinating than brands and influencers will be behind the brands that take off.”

Look no further than the TV space for prime examples of this idea, specifically the story of Oprah Winfrey’s rise to fame as she became a brand in her own right. The same trend will likely take form within the fashion space, per Britton. Influential people who have the right audiences and are built from the ground up will be able to create sustainable, digitally-native businesses that evolve into the new Gaps and the new Nordstroms of the future.

Brands as “ingredient” or “helping” brands

Years ago Home Depot coined the tagline “You can do it. We can help.” As consumers realize they can no longer rely on the services that they once did in a pre-crisis environment, they are now resorting to their own devices. 43 percent of dog owners, for instance, claim they will switch to DIY grooming.

Mattel Playroom, as another example, is using this time to encourage families and children to come up with their own toys in its “Play is Never Cancelled” — this concept of taking what you bought from us and make it bigger and better. Finally, Eva Longoria shocked the Internet when she took to dying her own hair in a L’Oreal ad she filmed herself from her house.

Whether these new habits actually take hold post-COVID, there is a powerful meaning behind brands taking an uncertain time and empowering consumers by giving them the raw ingredients to push forward — a role Britton referred to as “helping brands.”

This is also the case for the food and beverage industry as food preparation has come back into the home. Seventy-five percent of consumers believe they’re more skilled in the kitchen now and over 50 percent believe they will continue to cook more after the crisis. “This will create a substantial shift where these companies who have relied on their packaging and merchandise for years now have to reinvent themselves in a world where their products will be bought digitally, and more consumers are cooking at home on a regular basis,” said Britton.

Entertainment: redefining fun

In the absence of live events, platforms like TikTok and Houseparty are allowing the ability for brands and influencers to collaborate in meaningful and compelling ways. Houseparty specifically saw 17.2M total downloads in March with users carrying out virtual dinner parties, celebrating birthdays, and playing trivia and Pictionary to pass the time at home.

Gaming is also taking off with users engaging with one another on Animal Crossing esports and newcomer apps like Squad. In terms of music, platforms Fortnite and Instagram have become central and taken over the role of “concert venue.” Travis Scott did an entire performance in the form of an avatar on the Fortnite platform that drew in over 12M concurrent viewers. DJs too are using this moment of time to redefine their personal brands, DJ DNice rising to the top for his daily quarantine sets performed on Instagram that draw celebrities like Jennifer Lopez to the crowd.

Work and travel: a slow return

Britton believes travel will come back in full force much like the hospitality space, but it won’t be immediate. As companies struggle with budget cuts and want to avoid the liability of returning to work at the office too quickly, many are taking it upon themselves to postpone major events and issue work from home mandates into 2021.

Similarly to dining out, however, there is an inherent desire to travel and it will return. What is likely to be more apparent in the near future is people opting to travel by car when they’re not as ready to jump on a plane right away. Enter the C2C models of businesses like Airbnb who, despite recently laying off thousands of employees, have a likelihood of finding success for cash strapped homeowners looking for more income and individuals who want quick getaways that are safer than returning to air travel.

Regarding the future of the workplace, businesses are taking serious consideration that not every person across every department needs to be working from the office in order to collaborate and giving employees flexibility as to where they live can boost morale. In short, Britton believes companies will reevaluate their spaces.


While many workers thrive from home, students are struggling to prosper in a remote learning environment, according to Britton.

For younger generations, school is a place for building friendships, escaping from the house, learning responsibility, and seeing their friends and building core communication and interpersonal skills. 54 percent of parents with students engaged in a remote learning situation due to COVID-19 say it’s a daily struggle to support career and parenting during the day per recent findings from Suzy.

When assessing the 20 skills most in demand today, they are very trade and skill-based including items such as cloud computing, SEO, UX design, and video production, all of which aren’t traditionally taught in a liberal arts environment. The major takeaway: the technology companies are where the jobs are, where GDP is expanding and this is not likely to change. For this reason, it’s unlikely students not want to incur debt for a system that doesn’t prepare them to succeed in this capacity. “There are so many skills in demand that aren’t skills where you’re a jack of all trade or a master of none. I expect us to see a reverberation of demand for skills-based learning and skills-based schools versus generalist schools,” said Britton.

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The post How to Prepare Your Brand for the Not So Distant Future: 2.22.22 appeared first on Social Media Week.


Where to buy the new Ben & Jerry’s x Nike SB Chunky Dunky trainers

Featuring the infamous cow print (Picture: Ben & Jerry’s)They’re not quite the collab partners you might expect, but Ben & Jerry’s have teamed up …

Where to buy the new Ben & Jerry’s x Nike SB Chunky Dunky trainers

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Nike Recruits Everyone To ‘Play For The World’ In Clever Self-Isolation Campaign

Image via Nike

Sports juggernaut Nike takes on the coronavirus outbreak by advocating self-isolation in its latest ad campaign. The print, conceived by independent ad agency Wieden + Kenny Portland, was unveiled on Nike’s social media platforms over the weekend.

The creative strives to increase safety by getting people to stay indoors to prevent contagions. “If you ever dreamed of playing for millions around the world, now is your chance,” the note reads.

“Play inside, play for the world,” says the advert’s tagline, encouraging fans to represent the globe in a match against the novel coronavirus.

The ad was also shared on the social media platforms of Nike ambassadors, such as Serena Williams, Michael Jordan, Cristiano Ronaldo and Tiger Woods.

It coincides with the announcement of the premium Nike Training Club app now being free to download. The app offers workout plans, training programs, expert tips, and guided fitness routines.

Now more than ever, we are one team. #playinside #playfortheworld pic.twitter.com/LRLhL4FwkG

— Nike (@Nike) March 21, 2020

Now more than ever, we are one family. #JUMPMAN #playinside pic.twitter.com/U1G4HFeNBY

— Jordan (@Jumpman23) March 21, 2020

If you ever dreamed of playing for millions around the world, now is your chance. Play inside, play for the world.#staysafe #playinside #playfortheworld pic.twitter.com/Ie5i9BjzEM

— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) March 21, 2020

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Now more than ever, we are one team.⠀ #playinside #playfortheworld

A post shared by nike (@nike) on Mar 21, 2020 at 7:00am PDT

[via Muse by CLIO, cover image via CREDIT] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/409161/Nike-Recruits-Everyone-To-Play-For-The-World-In-Clever-Self-Isolation-Campaign/

What Nike’s Kaepernick Campaign Teaches Brands About Going Political

Nike lit social media on fire over the weekend with its new “Just Do It” campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, the controversial and political quarterback.

Kaepernick hasn’t played in the NFL for a couple of years, and many (including Kaepernick, according to a lawsuit he filed against the league) believe that’s partially due to his decision to kneel during the national anthem in protest of the treatment of people of color in the United States.

Even for Nike, this was perceived as a bold and risky move. Kaepernick isn’t a signed athlete at the moment, mainly because some people view his form of protest as disrespectful.

We won’t debate the merits of Kaepernick’s protest here. We can, however, examine the decision of a major brand to essentially back a controversial political statement.

Business, like everything else, is political now

“Republicans buy sneakers too.” This fabled statement by Michael Jordan—whether he actually said it or not—has been a guiding light for many brands. Better to not take a side in a world where everyone, regardless of political or religious affiliation, is a consumer.

That’s no longer the case, especially in our volatile political environment. Sidelines to political conversations are increasingly rare in a world where the president weighs in on the actions of football players (and just about every other topic).

Brands are expected to take a stance on the issues of the day: 60 percent of millennials are “belief-driven buyers” according to Edelman. That means brands need to decide how and when, not if, they will weigh in on important issues. Nike joins big-name (and highly successful) companies like Google, Patagonia, and Starbucks to make bold political statements of late.

But it’s still business

Nike may be taking a stand on behalf of Kaepernick and his political views, but that doesn’t mean Nike is giving away money senselessly. They’ve clearly done their homework and decided this campaign would benefit them.

And so far, they’re right: One estimate says Nike received $43 million worth of media exposure in one day just by unveiling this campaign. Expect that number to rise as the conversation continues.

Responses and takes from sites such as Business Insider, Fast Company, and The Undefeated all agree—this was a business decision and a savvy one at that.

Getting political for its own sake is a short-sighted move and one that may backfire. Before getting controversial, it’s important for brands to understand the impact of taking a side. Who are the company’s customers? How will they view this move? For Nike, which is aiming for those belief-driven millennials, this decision may have been unexpected, but it’s understandable.

Stick to your guns

Not all of the reactions to the campaign were neutral or positive. Some highly visible responses included the burning or destruction of Nike gear.

In Nike’s estimation, that’s okay. They won’t let a vocal minority deter them from what is clearly a long-term play. In fact, a few days after announcing the campaign, they dropped a new commercial narrated by Kaepernick. The co-opted movement continues.

Once you choose a position, don’t apologize. You’ll likely engender more hate if you try to play both sides of the issue. Embrace the hate: If you’ve done your research, it will prove to be the exception, not the rule.

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