Chris Reed
Jul 12, 2012

Nike rings up one-sided Telco brand partnership

Nike have created a unique partnership with UK telco brand O2 that will probably form a benchmark to a roll out across the world. Although whether other mobile brands will give up so much just for ...

Nike rings up one-sided Telco brand partnership

Nike have created a unique partnership with UK telco brand O2 that will probably form a benchmark to a roll out across the world. Although whether other mobile brands will give up so much just for the brand association with Nike remains to be seen....

O2’s previous partnership master-stoke was the ability for customers to gain priority booking for concert tickets which has enabled them to own the concert space in the same was a rival UK brand Orange own the film space.

The new venture in sport looks much more one sided in that Nike appear to be giving away very little apart from brand association and brand endorsement. In return they gain access to 23 million potential customers.

The centerpiece of the partnership is an exclusive app, well I say exclusive in the same way that an offer on Groupon is exclusive to anyone. At launch (in August even though the press launch was in July) O2 customers will have supposedly exclusive access to the Nike+ Android app in the UK until the end of the year.

The Android Nike+ app launched recently overseas but - aside from O2 - UK users will have to wait, because it's not available outside the US on all devices......allegedly.

However, this being Android, that's no problem, as you can simply download the app from any number of third-party sites and install at your leisure. I know of UK telco customers who have it installed on the rival Orange device and haven't encountered any problems with it.

This also begs the question what happens at the end of the year when everyone can officially download the app? What “exclusive” element will replace it?

The app itself offers little more than you can find on You Tube and Nike websites worldwide. There are also many fitness and training apps now downloadable which gives very similar offerings. Fitness and training advice.

The main different is that Nike+app does give you videos and content from celebs and athletes.It is these celebrities which brings that extra special Nike touch through money can’t buy training experiences with the stars to be won by O2 customers.

Well again, I say exclusive but if you’re  a Manchester United fan you can also win training sessions with the likes of Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand through their official partners…..

So takeaway the non-exclusive app and what else is Nike offering O2 customers?

-          Access to Nike events

-          Exclusive Nike+ Run Clubs and Nike Training Clubs - unspecified

-          Fuelfest tickets

-          Products and offers – unspecified

-          Exclusive advance Nike product releases

-          Free shipping on orders over 50pounds

The press launch with Paula Radcliffe and press releases/coverage is full of what content Nike are giving O2 and very sparse on what O2 are giving Nike apart from their 23 million customers…..  Could a deal have been done to offer Nike customers mobile deals, phone deals, apps and concert related benefits for example?

Interestingly RGA who may or may not have put the deal together have removed the press release saying that they did put the partnership together from their website and there is no mention of them in the Nike/O2 press release.

Nike also has ongoing partnerships with Apple and TomTom in the US for its range of GPS-powered fitness tracker products.

The PR puff says that the goal behind the Nike O2 Priority Sports scheme is to inspire people to be more active and bring them closer to their sporting passion, via their mobile. I think the goal of this really is to gain O2’s database of potential customers…..

Recently Nike’s vice president of digital sport Stefan Olander said that using digital channels is more effective and powerful than anything that can be achieved through traditional marketing methods, because they act as a “service” to consumers. O2 are clearly providing a “full” service to Nike with a very happy ending…..


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