Friday, May 25, 2007

Nike and Foot Locker partner for new retail experience

DDI has a short blurb on a new partnership between Nike and Foot Locker to bring about a new type of retail store. Dubbed the "House of Hoops by Foot Locker," the pair expect to open 50 of these themed stores over the next three years to, "create a new brand- and community-oriented retail experience celebrating the culture of the game for basketball consumers."

While Nike and FootLocker have used this theme for store-within-a-store displays before (as in the above image), a self-contained store to brand and promote the culture of basketball is a new direction for both companies.

Considering how hard Nike has tried to correlate their brand and brand image with the overall notion of sports and activity, I think this marks a natural next step for the company. By strategically placing these stores in areas with a high density of people who don't just play basketball but feature it prominently in their worlds (I'm guessing mostly urban areas), Nike has the opportunity to not only pick up some incremental sales, but further establish themselves as the "official" brand of basketball. Not a particular player, or a given team, or even the whole NBA, but the very sport itself.

Will it work? I'm on the fence here. While Nike has proven to be quite nimble and great at both identifying and establishing trends, the urban market is notoriously fickle and anti-establishment, so that will be a tall order.

Tags: Nike, House of Hoops, retail marketing

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