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Nike's take on Pride Month with the 'Be True' collection

June 16, 2021 9:00 AM
Nike's take on Pride Month with the 'Be True' collection

Behind every face and behind every flag is a story of self-discovery and self-discovery that needs to be told. That's why Nike celebrates Pride Month by telling all the stories, identities and experiences. Together with those who find freedom in the movements ('Proudly in Motion'), Nike wants to work towards a more inclusive future. Let's take a closer look at both the message and the collection together!

Nike Pride 2021

June = Pride month (at Nike)

Some marketers also call Pride 'Gay Christmas' when you consider how many companies decorate their shops with rainbows and jump on the bandwagon or - as Forbes magazine puts it - 'slay'. Now it is important how the brands decorate themselves with bright colours and what (real) message they want to communicate.

“When you play sports, everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, as human beings, we all have our differences. In that sense, I feel that talking about gender and sexuality can be a chance to break the norm.”

Shiho Shimoyamada, Japanese footballer

The special thing about the Nike 'Be True' collection is the level of individuality with which customers can personalise their products. For example, the Blazer '77 Low, the Air Max Pre-Day, the All Out Utility Slide and the Infinity React Run 2 can be personalised with patches to show your gender identity and/or sexual orientation.

Nike Pride

Each sneaker comes with nine flags that can be worn with the Velcro strap on the heel. One of them is the Transgender Pride flag, designed by former Navy veteran Monica Helms.

Nike Pride 2021

Pride Nike Sneaker

Nike describes its Be True 2021 Blazer '77 Low as a sneaker with "classic simplicity" that highlights "the bright and bold colours on the Swoosh".

The Air Max Pre-Day features a bold blue hue and a colourful gradient on the Swoosh.

The All Out Utility Slide has a "double-layered foam sole and a zippered pocket on the fanny pack-inspired strap that provides storage for small essentials and convenience no matter where life takes you."

The last is the Nike Infinity React Run 2 Be True running shoe, which offers support in the toe area at the tongue and arch and more breathability in areas like the forefoot and midfoot.

The Pink Dollar

The LGBTQIA+ community is a valued demographic, not just during Pride Month! Five years ago, reported that the so-called 'pink dollar' accounted for 14% of total disposable income in the US. But shoppers should be careful. Large companies that ostensibly court LGBTQIA+ customers may simultaneously be supporting opponents. Only if companies make an effort for more than just one month a year can they win the loyalty of customers.

According to non-binary journalist Mary Emily O'Hara, writing in AdWeek in July 2020, the 14th annual LGBTQ Consumer Survey found that brands that support LGBTQIA+ rights can expect an increase in reach and sales.

In the same 2020 survey, more than 34,000 respondents were asked which brands they preferred. Nike was the only sportswear company, along with Amazon, Disney/ABC, or Google, among the 13 most frequently mentioned.

Nike Pride 2021

How the brand gives back to the community

The myth of rich gays has developed from the supposed spending power of the community, whereas there are actually more poor than rich.

That's one of the reasons Nike and other brands put a lot of the money back into the community. In 2021, the Swoosh Brand have donated a total of $625,000 to 18 LGBTQIA+ organisations so far. According to Nike, each grantee is an organisation that focuses on sports advocacy, creating safe spaces and elevating the history of the LGBTQIA+ community. Several would specifically support intersectional communities, including the Human Rights Campaign.