Nike has set its sights on expanding the Jordan Brand flagship line to include non-basketball gear and to also create products for women.
At present, the Jordan Brand offers mainly basketball-centric gear that caters only to men and children. Jordan Brand shoes are not available in women’s dedicated sizes, so female fans of the brand have to either wear men’s sizes or hope to squeeze into kids’ size shoes.
Nike Chief Executive Mark Parker told Bloomberg Television, “It is a great brand and has been one-dimensional – largely footwear,largely male and US-based. The opportunity is to give the consumer more choice in that brand, carefully.”
Despite Nike’s dominance in the market, the disparity shown when it comes to Jordan Brand is obvious. Basketball programs at places like the University of California see men’s teams wearing Jordans and women’s teams wearing Nike.
While some may fear that expanding the Jordan Brand line will erode its customer base, sports market analyst, Matt Powell, believes “It’s doable, but it will really take some thoughtful design work, and the product has to be right also,” adding that “If they can harness the strength of the brand, it can work.” In fact, the brand’s previous tennis and golf shoe releases created yet more buzz for the brand.
Jordan sub-culture is arguably at its highest right now, and with statistics from The Marketing Arm’s Celebrity DBI Database showing that 97% of women in the U.S. know who Michael Jordan is, catering to the ladies might be a win-win situation after all.