Nike Celebrates Women in Sport in Paris
We are just a couple of months away from the World Cup 2019 game in France – without any doubt, it is a big moment for women’s sports this summer.
Hundreds of influencers and media professionals (including more than 40 top female athletes) from all over the world gathered at the Palais Brongniart in Paris earlier this week. After over two years in the making Nike finally debuted 14 Women’s National World Cup team kits.
The event's major reveal showcased the teams' home and away uniforms, which were designed with the female players in mind, for the very first time and featured a memorable presentation that included appearances of Brandi Chastian, Meg Rapinoe and Alex Morgan of the U.S. Women's National Soccer team.
Olympians Simone Biles, Ibtihaj Muhammad and Sue Bird also participated in the special runway show, which additionally highlighted Nike's newest launches for footwear, apparel and its high-performance sports bras.
In fact, the unveiling of the kits isn’t just an important moment in the run up to the Women’s World Cup, which kicks off in June – it marks a significant breakthrough in terms of sportswear design and prioritising women’s bodies. 'Women’s body types are different, their temperature regulation is different, and we are assessing that from the inside out,' says Vice President of Nike Women, Rosemary St. Clair. 'We’re creating products that take in everything from the perception - how does this feel? How does it make me feel when I perform? - to body heat regulation.' From the shape of the shirt necks to the waistband in the shorts, the kits have been designed using clever 4D scanning and motion capture techniques in Nike’s top-secret Research Lab.
'Everything really starts and ends with the athlete,' says Cassie Looker, Nike Senior Apparel Product Manager for Global Football. 'As we worked with the female athletes for these kits, one thing we definitely heard loud and clear is that they prefer to have a V-neck on there, so we took that information and then started to perfect that fit.' 'We believe that sport has an unlock for women to perform at their best, make them feel better about themselves,' says Rosemary St. Claire. 'I think this summer's World Cup is the tipping point, it is a platform that we can just broadcast and show and inspire the next generation of athletes.'
"There is an incredible momentum right now around women's sports and we're energized and excited about investing in and inspiring the next generation," Nike Women VP Rosemary St. Clair told Fashionista. As the leading brand among professional female football teams, the timing around the World Cup was too good of a platform and marketing opportunity to pass up.
Nike's initiatives of its commitment first went public in January with the release of its "Dream Crazier" campaign, an emotionally moving commercial spotlighting some of the biggest moments in women's sports.
Nike is continuing to reimagine its apparel and footwear for women. Over the next few months, expect to see its newest sneaker styles in more colorways, plus additions to collaborations with brands like Swarovski. Similarly to how the women's footwear designers revamped Nike's iconic silhouettes, the women's apparel team will be offering new, stylish takes on its Tech Pack collection, as well as more fashion-forward apparel for the soccer fan, which features Nike logos from the archives.
While the excitement surrounding women's soccer will surely grow even more this summer, Nike will continue to tune in to what sports are important to its women's customers, as well as the gaps in the market that need to be filled.