Nike to focus on grassroot expansion

American sportswear maker Nike plans to continue with retail expansion and focus on connecting at the grassroot level.

“We are eager to bring the brand to the masses. There will be a sharp focus on this segment.

“The market is still nascent and there is a long way to go to build this market.

“But since the sports market is clearly going to grow in the future, grassroot level support is important for us.

“Our focus is to connect at the grassroot level,” said Tarun Puri, Managing Director and General Manager, Nike India.

With products ranging upwards of Rs 2,000, “grassroot” may have a different connotation for Nike.

“The young cricketer playing at Shivaji Park is grassroot for us. We are looking at creating products for them. At the same time, we would like to increase our core connect to athletes. That is our core strategy and it will continue,” he said.

Nike India’s strategy has been to saturate the top 30 cities before moving on to the next level of strategic expansions. The Indian market for sports goods is estimated at Rs 3,500 crore and is growing at about 18-20 per cent.

With the recent Reebok India fiasco opening up new opportunities for other players in the segment, retail analysts are optimistic about Nike’s growth story in India.


Nike has about 300-400 exclusive stores across India.

The company expects the urban middle-class consumer base to reach 125 million by 2015, Puri had said in the recent past.

The company sees good growth in its replica sale market. Replica sale or branded merchandise representing a sports icon or team is a strong category for Nike.

“The replica sale market is picking up and in different sports,” Puri added.

Nike recently launched the newly-designed cricket apparel for the T20 series for the Indian cricket team.

Its new collection of T20 jersey and pants is 45 per cent lighter. “Sustainability and performance was our focus for the new cricket gear. Sustainability has been our priority,” said Puri.

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