Explores the Information Communication Technologies used in the athletic footwear and sports apparel industry

Nike 10K: Following Is Not Stalking?

When is it socially acceptable to “follow” someone without “stalking” that person? As the usage of Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking tools gradually become an everyday fixture in our lives, words like “follow” and “whisper” are the standard jargon in our virtual reality. Yet, “following” someone too close in the virtual space is still considered “stalking”. However, Nike has launched its Nike 10K Follow Me campaign via social media that legitimizes “following” as socially acceptable by giving a purpose to “following”.
In its campaign, Nike utilizes its Nike+ technology to integrate social network with its 10K races and converts “followers” on different social networks into “followers” of a real race. This means that online users are not just followers of words on Twitter; but they are actually following a race facing real physical challenges encountered by the runners. In doing so, Nike has lobbied support from online users and created a sense of community among runners and online users. Moreover, Nike takes advantage of the far reach of social networks and extends its presence to untapped communities. Along the same line, Nike also allows runners to recapture their race through its online portal where runners can share their race experience with friends and family using social networking tools such as Facebook. Through its social media integration, Nike manages to enhance its brand reputation through affordable means. At the same time, Nike increases the traffic of visiting its website, which in turn can create new leads and generate new customers. Lastly, Nike successfully connects its brand name and brand image with the consumers.

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