JD Sports and Nike strike ‘Connected Partnership’ deal

Customers of JD Sports will get ‘unprecedented access’ to Nike shoes and apparel under new partnership

  • American multinational Nike is famous for its Air Jordan trainers and tick logo
  • Customers of both companies will be able to link their membership accounts
  • Nike began the partnership arrangement last year with Dick’s Sporting Goods 

JD Sports customers will get enhanced access to Nike products after the two sportswear retailers announced a new tie-up.

Customers of both companies will be able to link their membership accounts with each other and gain certain perks as part of Nike’s ‘Connected Partnership’ loyalty programme.

These advantages include an instant reward bonus, curated collections, and ‘unprecedented access to select Nike member-only footwear and apparel,’ Bury-based JD said.

Trainer tie-up: JD Sports has launched a new partnership with athletic apparel firm Nike  

The FTSE 100 group is the first European business to become a retail partner of the American multinational, famous for its Air Jordan trainers and tick logo, whose market capitalisation is estimated at $150billion.

Nike began the partnership arrangement in October last year with Dick’s Sporting Goods, one of the largest sporting equipment retailers in the US.

Another partnership with German online commerce firm Zalando, which has almost 50 million customers across 25 markets, is set to begin next month in Austria before being expanded to other territories.

Carl Grebert, Nike’s vice-president in the EMEA region, said the deals ‘will serve the best Nike products and experiences to customers of two of Europe’s largest and most dynamic retailers, with more speed, convenience, and connection to our brand and sport than ever before.’

This announcement comes a day after Nike released first-quarter results that showed its revenues grew by 10 per cent year-on-year to $12.9billion for the three months to the end of August.

Trade was buoyed by high demand for footwear and sales growth in North America outpacing a decline in Greater China, where strict lockdown restrictions have heavily impacted the retail sector.

Unfortunately, net income tumbled by 22 per cent to $1.5billion due to increasing transport costs, weaker margins in the Nike Direct business, and unfavourable foreign exchange movements driven by a stronger dollar.

In the previous week, JD Sports published its half-year results that partly blamed a drop in profits on rising logistics costs in its North American operations.

The company also struggled against impressive prior year comparatives, when the US Government granted $1,400 direct payments to its citizens and more generous unemployment benefits as part of a major stimulus package.

That trading update caused JD Sports Fashion shares to tumble more than any other blue-chip London firm on Thursday last week. 

Following the announcement of the Nike tie-up this morning, they fell by 1.6 per cent to 98.3p by the late afternoon, meaning their value has declined by over half in the past 12 months.

Commenting on the Nike partnership, JD chief executive Regis Schultz said the two firms ‘have a long and successful history of working together as strategic partners to bring customers an exceptional product offering and seamless omnichannel experience.

He added: ‘This partnership – the first to launch in Europe – amplifies the combined strength of the Nike and JD brands with our shared consumers by leaning into their behaviour and journeys and creating new, richer and more engaging experiences.’

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