Nike: Find Your Greatness

By: Patrick Saunders

Have you ever noticed how advertisements for Adidas or Under Armour products always seem to show only the top athletes wearing their products? It seems like the best way to market your brand right? Well Nike, one of today’s best sporting companies, would like people to know anyone can push their limits, be great, or be a champion. No longer are aspirations to be the best reserved for championship athletes or gold medalists in the Olympics. Find your own greatness, and be the best that you can be today.

In 2012, corresponding with the opening ceremony of the Olympics in London, Nike released its “Find your Greatness” ad campaign in the hopes of driving its consumers to achieve their own greatness with or without the help of their Nike plus product line. Nike has always been a strong supporter of motivation, hard work, and self-fulfillment within their brand. It’s an image that Nike takes pride in while setting the standards in today’s athletic world. The idea behind the campaign is simple; show a series of short commercials with everyday people participating and enjoying the thrill of achieving a sport at their own level. Interestingly enough, not only was Nike not an official sponsor of the Olympics, their arch rival Adidas was, and had paid tens of millions to be an official sponsor of the 2012 London Olympics. Nike’s campaign was a priceless way to market their brand and cash in on all the Olympic hype. As Nike’s co-founder Bill Bowerman has said, “if you have a body, you’re an athlete.” It’s quite the message Nike was trying to portray to the world, but it’s a message that definitely stands out from the rest, one that is so inspirational to the point where watching just one of the many short clips will make you want to get up off the couch and go do something. Most importantly it’s a message that has really stuck with the brand only helping them to further success.

In my opinion, it was a very smart idea for Nike to release such a campaign coinciding so closely to the Olympics. Although a risky idea, seeing how Nike was not even a primary sponsor for the Olympics, I believe that it completely changed the way people view the company’s target market. By displaying mostly non-athletes throughout the campaign videos, it shows that anyone can be great even though they may or may not be particularly athletic. Some of Nikes ad straplines included, “Greatness doesn’t need its own anthem” or “Greatness doesn’t need a stadium” relating to the Olympic games. The headings for the ads directly highlight the company’s idea that the average person should do what makes them great. Many people today are under the impression that the “best of the best” achieved their greatness in some magical way that seems almost impossible to the average person. We put others’ achievements in our perspective when we should be focusing on what makes each one of us great. In addition, the campaign pushes us as a nation to become a healthier one and incorporate more physical activity into our daily lives.


11 thoughts on “Nike: Find Your Greatness

  1. Ryan Etter March 3, 2015 / 3:09 pm

    I believe that this marketing strategy by Nike is how the brand is now seen by the target market being everyday people striving to be better. Their brand doesn’t need to be sponsored by professional athletes only because ordinary people buy their products as well. Nikes motivational commercials are tough to dismiss because they really get in depth to what they want us to think or how to feel rather than to sell their products. In my opinion Nike is more popular than Adidas and Under Armour because i prefer to wear Nike myself. I found it interesting that the Olympics gave the sponsorship to Adidas over Nike.


  2. Zi Wang March 14, 2015 / 3:49 am

    I think that Nike company chose a better and special way to propagandize their band image. Sometime, Choosing a special visual to express could attract more people’s eyes. Using some ordinary people as performers in Nike’ ad make people have feeling which the brand is popular. Also, Nike company’s marke position is wider than adidas. It has many sub-brand such as Under Armour, Air Jordon and kobe. These bands can attract more customers who like different sport fields.


  3. McGee Hines March 14, 2015 / 7:42 pm

    I think that this was a very smart move for Nike as well, seeing as the market for people wishing to become more fit and athletic is most likely just as big, if not bigger, than those who already are.
    Looking at the athletic wear aspect of Nike, people who are making the lifestyle change of becoming more fit tend to start out with buying new clothing, as inspiration for them to go to the gym or maintain a better lifestyle. If Nike only associated the Olympic and high-profile athlete to their brand, the everyday person may be more intimidated to walk into a Nike store and seek out their guidance on buying from them. Whereas, now that they’re giving off the vibe that people all of shapes, sizes, and performance levels are encouraged to sport their “swoosh” people will be more comfortable and willing to do so.


  4. Blake Boudreau March 24, 2015 / 9:40 pm

    I believe that having non-athletes in Nikes ad campaigns is a very good marketing strategy. For people that are trying to loose weight, get in better shape or simply just want to buy athletic wear they can now relate to the ads because they aren’t also athletes in the ads. Some may be able to say to themselves that could be me! Another great marketing idea by a great company in Nike.


  5. Jackie Lurvey April 13, 2015 / 11:36 pm

    I really like this marketing campaign by Nike. I think it is a really good campaign to have as part of their brand because they are showing everyone that they can be an athlete. Not only does this campaign inspire everyone to get up and do something but it also encourages them to choose Nike, the company who believes they have greatness in athletics. This type of campaign can increase the healthy lifestyle trend that has been growing over the past couple years and, of course, it will benefit Nike. By inspiring everyone to “find their greatness” in athletics, they motivated more people to be active and to buy their active wear from Nike.


  6. Ryan Etter April 27, 2015 / 9:43 pm

    I think this was one of my favorite campaigns because of the commercials. nike is one of my favorite brands and I’m always interested in their marketing strategies particularly their commercials. this reaches out to everyone not just sponsored athletes and i think thats important to remember that your marketing to customers not just professional athletes in this case.


  7. Lauren Smith April 28, 2015 / 2:20 am

    Nike is inspiring all individuals in this campaign titled “find you greatness” it is positively encouraging all people alike whether athlete or not to get up and delve into a healthy and active lifestyle, all while promoting and advertising their athletic wear too. Nike is motiving individuals and thats something every company should be doing. I really enjoy this marketing campaign and commercial by Nike and I am really loving the fact that so many companies nowadays are straying away from the “typical” means of advertisement by using pro athletes or models and simply using people, people that their target audiences may know and can especially relate to. Relating to a company or advertisement seriously helps promote a brand or campaign movement and allows for increase in sales whether clothing wear or athletic products. Good move Nike.


  8. James Wagner April 28, 2015 / 4:01 am

    This is a great new concept by Nike that puts the everyday normal person as their marketing strategy. Instead of the athletes representing the product, the non actors that are in the commercials are great motivation for other normal people to get out there and get active. Nike is selling motivation which a great marketing strategy. Nike is pushing the idea of its not just professional athletes that can benefit from nike’s products, but everyone who wants to practice!


  9. Patrick Coskren December 6, 2015 / 12:31 am

    This article and post was interesting for me to read because I am a big fan of all Nike products. Nike filling their campaigns with non-Olympic and professional athletes was one of the best moves I think the company could have made. Olympic and professional athletes are not the ones buying the actual products, they are given them to wear and promote. Every day people, high school and college athletes, people going to the gym on their way home from work, or those who simply just like comfy clothes are the ones who are buying the products. By Nike using every day people in their ads, they have targeted their ideal consumer audience. These consumers will be more likely to buy Nike because they will likely resonate with the individuals in the ads and feel comfortable buying and wearing the product.


  10. Megan Lac April 3, 2016 / 7:26 pm

    I think it was a smart move on Nike’s part to incorporate non-Olympic athletes into their marketing campaign since that is their target market. Most professional and national athletes are given their clothes instead so they have no need to decide to purchase one brand over another. People tend to buy what they feel they can relate to or what they see themselves using. By Nike campaigning with “average” people and athletes it shows people that their products are made for people just like them and appear more desirable.


  11. Alicia April 21, 2016 / 6:21 pm

    I think the whole idea behind Nike’s Find Your Greatness is really awesome. It is true that anybody with a body can be an athlete and more people should support that. Athlete’s are typically envied for their strong bodies and athletic achievements, which can also make some people feel self-conscious around them. I like that Nike uses other celebrities, outside of professional athletes, as well as regular people to market their products. Under Armour, on the other hand, is starting to do something similar to that. Under Armour started a campaign called “I Will What I Want” featuring Gisele Bündchen, who is a super model, but not an a professional athlete. I do, however, think that Nike has done the most effective job marketing to a wide range of people, rather than specifically athletes.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s