Nike on it December earnings call provided investors with a lot of good news to cheer, and within the announcement, the Portland-based powerhouse casually mentioned it was entering the men’s yoga category. Today (January 8, 2018) it rolled out a men’s and women’s yoga apparel collection with marketing that touted the restorative power of yoga as practiced by athletes. The men’s offerings marked the first time the brand has created men’s apparel specifically for yoga.
It’s a given that Nike was in part inspired Lululemon, a company whose entire reason for being grew from the practice of yoga. As part of its evolution, it’s become a general fitness brand, though it’s a good bet the rapid growth of Lulu’s men’s business is what gave Nike pause.
While Lululemon’s business is dominated by sales to women, in January 2018 it announced a men’s business growth target of $1 billion by 2020, or about 25% of the total business.” Nike bagged a total of $36 billion last year but you don’t say in business for as long as Nike has by blowing off competition.
Nike entering yoga probably isn’t too-too much of a threat in part because a lot of people like Lulu specifically because it’s not a massive global athletic brand that everyone else wears. Lulu also has a different customer than Nike whose willing to pay more to have softer fabrics and a higher quality construction.
Still, Nike would be dumb to sit by and let Lulu continue rake in racks on top of racks unfettered. It makes sense for Nike to use a small portion of its multi-billion marketing spend to execute its best warrior pose and let folks know Lulu isn’t the only Yogi in town.
Check out Nike’s debut yoga collection below. Offerings will hit Nike stores and nike.com in January 2019.