Why Nike sunk its teeth into data analytics firm Zodiac

Goal is to strengthen digital capabilities and accelerate ‘Consumer Direct Offense’ strategy

US-based Nike says its acquisition of data analytics firm, Zodiac, is aimed at bolstering digital capabilities and accelerating its Consumer Direct Offense strategy to serve consumers faster and more personally at scale.

The athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories company's stable includes the Nike brand, as well as Converse and Hurley International.

“The acquisition of Zodiac demonstrates our commitment to further accelerating Nike’s digital transformation and enhancing our consumer data and analytics capabilities to help us serve consumers globally,” Nike vice-president and chief digital officer, Adam Sussman, said in a statement. “We’re adding world-class data-science talent and best-in-class tools to power one-to-one relationships with consumers through digital and physical consumer experiences.”

A Nike spokesperson told CMO the acquisition of Zodiac demonstrates a commitment to enhancing the group's ability to serve consumers on a one-to-one basis, powered through a deep understanding of their goals and needs.

“We’re a company dedicated to activity and inspiration, and we use data that consumers have shared with us to help inspire and motivate people to become more active and to help them find the right products,” the spokesperson said.

The acquisition of Zodiac will bring a team of expert data scientists into Nike, as well as advanced tools that will help support relationships with consumers through digital and physical consumer experiences.

Asked about the company's vision in terms of customer experience and personalisation, the spokesperson said Nike believed in creating "life-long relationships with consumers" by serving them real value and experiences.

To do this, the brand has created a distinct membership program, called NikePlus, that focuses on rewarding members and their emotional connection to the world of sports.

"So we celebrate and reward consumers with the products and experiences that are authentically part of their individual journeys, enabling us to close the gap between the emotional connection consumers have with our brand and getting them exactly what they want. At this stage, this membership is only available in some markets," the spokesperson continued. 

The company plans to continue focusing on the Nike Plus membership program as the foundation of its data analytics strategy. NikePlus members have a single universal profile across all of our websites, apps and physical or digital touchpoints.

NikePlus membership is available in all markets, including Australia. However the benefits may differ from market to market, according to the spokesperson, and the new benefits are only available in markets outside of Australia at this stage.

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