How localisation gained Nike the credibility to champion women’s sports in China

Brands now play a huge part in pushing for gender equality and in sport, where there’s still a huge gap between the interest, participation and pay for female athletes, it is more important than ever. Nike has been one of the brands pushing this agenda worldwide but in China, where three out of four female athletes drop out of sports by the time they are 17, there was a need to push this agenda harder. Working with Mindshare China, for International Women’s Day last month, Nike decided to tell the ‘Back to the Beginning’ story of famous athletes, to inspire a new generation. Matthew Nolan, strategy partner for Mindshare China, explains, “While gender equality has been central to China’s policies for the last 70 years, Nike found that in sports, underlying stereotypes persist that place limits on the development of the female athletes. In fact, nearly 3 out of 4 women drop out of sports by the age of 17. In this campaign and most importantly the ‘Back to the Beginning’ activation, Nike wanted to provocatively communicate the true stories of real athletes who overcame limitations to become the world-class athletes they are today, helping to encourage future generations.

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