Nike gathered with more than 40 of the world’s top female athletes in Paris to unveil 14 National Team Collections for this summer’s football tournament in France and highlight new partnerships to champion women in sport.
“We believe this summer can be another turning point for the growth of women’s football,” says NIKE, Inc. Chairman, President and CEO Mark Parker. “And our bigger ambition is for that energy and participation to extend into all sports. Nike’s commitment is to continue our leading support of competitive athletes, invest in the next generation at the grassroots level and deliver more innovative and compelling product design for women.”
This commitment is underscored by several key initiatives:
Supporting Elite Sport
In Paris, Nike announced a new three-year partnership with UEFA Women’s Football. This builds on grassroots commitments to the sport and strong ties to elite level clubs and athletes. As an official partner, Nike will become the match ball supplier for UEFA Women’s competitions and support the Together #weplaystrong initiative, UEFA’s five-year plan to cement football as the leading female team sport in Europe.
Additionally, Nike continues to support elite football programs from North America to China, and standout female athletes worldwide. In basketball, Nike is partnering with the WNBA, FIBA and the Chinese Basketball Association to grow the women’s game. Meanwhile, at the collegiate level, Nike is partnering with more than 200 universities across the U.S. to support more than 25,000 top female athletes across multiple sports.
Inspiring Future Athletes at the Grassroots Level
Nike is addressing barriers to girls’ participation in sport through new community partnerships and access to products to help girls play with confidence. In Paris, Nike is partnering with Sport dans la Ville to train female coaches and engage girls through sports ranging from football to boxing. Globally, Nike is collaborating with Women Win and Gurls Talk to support rising female coaches who are inspiring the next generation of girls to be active. Nike is also piloting a program to provide products such as the Nike Pro Hijab and Nike Classic Sports Bra to girls in need through schools and community partners worldwide.
By embracing the challenge of working beyond the constraints of finite natural resources, Nike is using sustainability as an opportunity for creativity and critical design unlocks. This is already being done through mindful approaches to color (the Nike Plant Color collection uses plant-based dye), construction (the new VaporMax2 Random gathers excess Flyknit yarn for its upper) and material innovation (Flyleather is made with at least 50 percent recycled natural leather fiber).
Additionally, all Nike football kits are made from recycled bottles. Nike products have diverted more than 6 billion plastic bottles from landfills since 2010. Now, more than 1 billion plastic bottles are recycled into new Nike products per year and Nike has been the top user of recycled polyester in the textile and apparel industry for five years in a row.
Apparel innovation will be led with female athletes at the center of Nike’s work. That’s evident in the design process for the 14 National Team Kits, which began by gathering detailed input on fit from professional footballers, followed by 4D scanning and motion capture in the Nike Sport Research Lab.
Echoing this focus on women’s-specific precision engineering is Nike’s Spring/Summer 2019 high-performance bra collection that features 57 styles in sizes up to 44G, enabling more women of more shapes, sizes and sport interests to get after it.
These two examples are illustrative of a broad-ranging effort to rethink fit and serve female athletes with a wide range of options – for fit, support, feel and style.