Nike and Bella Hadid made a big splashy announcement this week revealing the model had been signed to front a new media campaign. This news at first glance seems like not a big deal because Adidas, Puma and Reebok already have signed various influencers to front their campaigns so at first glance it seems like just another model/celebrity/singer with a big social media following signing with an athletic brand.
In recent years, however, Nike has mostly kept top-tier model and music influencers at arm’s length, choosing as it always has to invest most of its marketing money with athletes and teams. Stepping outside of sport, its splashiest collaborations over the past two years have been with three designers for luxury labels, Riccardo Tisci, Olivier Rousteing and Kim Jones.
In the meantime, Adidas and Puma got behind the athleisure trend by partnering with leading cultural icons and have cashed in big time, part of the reason, some have said, Nike has lost its appeal among the space’s most ardent sneaker lovers.
While it’s not yet clear if Hadid will be anything more than a face of the brand, between this move, the big seeding push behind its Air Force 1 field boot, and its dominant presence at Complexcon, Nike is showing that it’s getting back on its street level grind.
— Nike NYC (@NikeNYC) November 15, 2016