How Nike is driving their target market into their stores

What if you could hold events every week in your store drawing 100-300 target market attendees?

There are gimmicks and programs galore to drive foot traffic into stores. Unfortunately, not all foot traffic drives the right people into the store, and therefore may not achieve the desired results. Not the case for the Nike Run Club. NRC is able to draw 100-300 runners per event, and hosts multiple events per week.

Let me share my Nike story:

While in NYC for Retail's Big Show, NRF 2016, I wanted to meet some new running friends; joining a running group can be a great way to make new friends, and stay fit at the same time. For those of you who know me, you know that I have blogged previously about my experience of running a marathon. I currently run about 4 days/week, and last year (2015) I participated in 15 races ranging from half marathons to 5Ks.

So now I’ve set the stage for my objective: A running group while in New York.

Before I left, I started searching for run groups I could participate in. I searched, google, etc., and then I stumbled across Nike Run Club. Upon further research, I found that Nike hosts group runs approximately 4-5x/week in NYC across 3 of their Manhattan stores. I easily set up an account and signed up for group runs on their website.

I arrived in NYC, and on Thursday, I took off for my first Nike Run Club experience at the Upper West Side store. I was warmly greeted by a Nike associate with a tablet for checking-in runners. Next, I was directed to coat check and to select my pace group. There were over 100 runners attending this evening event!

We were separated into smaller groups of 10-20 runners by pace. I met 2 pacers and my running comrades. Coach Julia Lucas explained the workout, and we were off! It was a complete running workout with warm-up, drills, and stretching. At the end, all of the runners put their hands in and shouted "NRC" (for Nike Run Club), and when we brought up our hands, everyone made a "SWOOSH" sound! I was offered bottled water and refreshments both in the store and in Central Park (where the drills took place).

What an Experience!

Here's a cool picture of my running group and the NYC skyline in Central Park. (I'm the one in the pink hat.)

The question you may be asking now is: How is Nike able to draw hundreds of target market runners to their stores day after day?

Short Answer: Quality

Long Answer: (specifics below)

  1. Running "professionals" - Professional running coach, Julia Lucas - leading the event. The runners are divided into smaller groups 10-20 runners led by pacers who also help coach the runners.
  2. Amenities: Bag/coat check, refreshments, water, sports drinks, bananas, chocolate milk.
  3. Professional photographer: free downloadable photos sent out the day after the race for sharing on social media. This creates social media buzz for Nike.
  4. Nike Branding: Everyone knows the Nike brand.
  5. And the good old ‘Just Do It’ Nike attitude!

The next question to answer is: Do these events equal conversion?

While I don't have specific numbers from Nike, one of my new friends, Jamie Chien posted on her Facebook page and Instagram account #nikemakesmepoor

Obviously, this is working on her!

This is working on me too, as I am posting photos from my Nike Run Club experiences on this blog.