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Air Jordan fan? This is how Nike takes advantage of the rage for sneakers in Mexico

The Air Jordans were the first design produced for a basketball player: Michael Jordan. They saw the light in the 1980s and quickly became a staple of sportswear. Since then they have had different ‘revivals’, among which the redesign in collaboration with J. Balvin stands out.

Alfonso Bueno, general manager of Nike Mexico, comments in an interview with Expansión that the category of sneakers (sports shoes) is one of the best performing within the company’s portfolio, which also considers sports clothing and accessories, when it was a segment very small.

“The culture of sneakers has become a bastion, a very important pillar of the industry in Mexico,” declares the manager, without revealing the growth of the category or its percentage of participation in the company’s sales.

In the country, from 2017 to 2021, revenues from this segment grew 18.2% from 1,340 million dollars to 1,640 million, according to Statista, and in the future the pace will be maintained. The consultant estimates that this year it will close at 1,850 million and will reach 2,427 million in 2027, which will mean an advance of 23.7%.

The general manager of Nike Mexico explains that the brand had not been as strong in the country as it is now, and it is related to the fact that before sportswear was not as relevant and was rather a commodity . But now sports clothing and footwear have taken over the catwalks and have burst into completely different contexts, generating new styles of clothing, such as smart casual, which combines formal garments with more relaxed ones.

Nike has found in collaborations a way to take advantage of this trend and connect with the consumer. For the general manager of the brand in Mexico, the collaborations with characters such as Billie Eilish or J. Balvin have also been a door for the sneakers to leave the courts and enter the streets and become part of the daily life of those who wear them.

Music and entertainment have always had a strong influence and this is why footwear companies like Nike and its competitor Adidas stick to celebrity marketing in the music and professional sports space, to launch products that they tend to have a higher price compared to seasonal merchandise.

Bueno anticipates that this trend will intensify in the coming months, amid the furor that will be caused by events such as the World Cup in Qatar, which begins on November 20, and which will be a good showcase for Nike, which sponsors 10 teams, including Brazil. , France, Portugal and England.

“We are born into sports, but by re-introducing them (sneakers) to consumers, they take on a new look, a fresh take on the classics. The brand collaborations are a tribute to our sense of branding in sport, a tribute to our athletes and our past,” he says.

Globally, in the first fiscal quarter, Nike reported revenue of $12.7 billion, up 4% from the same period last year. The company’s direct sales grew 8% to $5.1 billion and digital sales rose 16%, according to the company’s financial statement.

Mexico: the race won

Mexico City is among the 12 most important cities for Nike, along with New York, Los Angeles, London and Paris, despite the fact that the entire collection does not reach the Mexican capital internationally.

The general manager of Nike Mexico shares that they report positive results in all their sales channels, from their own stores, operated by Grupo Axo, to digital channels and stores such as Innovasport or Invictus.

“We are in a position that we have never been in. One year after another we have celebrated that we have reached the best year of our history in Mexico. We have maintained a sustained and robust growth”, he concludes.

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