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Nike Makes a Play for Women’s Segment

Nike is betting on athletes——not supermodels——to accelerate its women’s business. The leading athletic brand in the world unveiled its Spring ’15 women’s collection on Wednesday in New York City with the support of 27 top female athletes from around the world.

Olympic gold medalists Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, tennis champion Li Na, basketball star Skylar Diggins and others showcased the new gear including seamless performance tights, updated Flyknit footwear and the Pro Bra collection, which Nike spent two years developing.

Vice president and general manager of Nike women, Amy Montagne, said, “Nike delivers because we are the world’s largest women’s sports brand. Our women’s business is already a $5 billion business, and we expect to grow another $2 billion by 2017. We are part of the community in every major market in the world. We are already connected to women across all areas of the sports and fitness landscape so only Nike is in the position to be there for women as they super-charge this new lifestyle of sport.”

She added, “With such an explosion of creativity in sport and a growing lifestyle that seamlessly integrates her run and workout with the rest of her day, Nike has never been better positioned for growth.”

Nike also used the presentation as an opportunity to showcase its digital services, including its Nike+ Training Club app for women, which has been downloaded 16 million times. While other athletic brands have pegged fashion models like Gisele Bundchen (Under Armour), Heidi Klum (New Balance) and Miranda Kerr (Reebok) to tout their brand messages on commercials and social networks, Nike said it has built its digital community on a “global ecosystem of inspiration and optimism” that blends knowledge and community to motivate athletes.

Mark Parker, Nike president and CEO, said, “Sport and fitness are powering a new lifestyle shift for women around the world.” He added. “Our relationship with our digital community of 65 million women, coupled with great product innovation, is driving our momentum.”