Launching a Direct-to-Consumer Shoe Subscription Service

The Challenge

The Nike Accelerator team had a disruptive concept that was stuck in the lab – a shoe subscription service for young athletes. It was an intriguing value proposition, based on deep customer pain points:

  • Shopping for/with young athletes is painful
  • Young athletes change and grow quickly
  • Used shoes accumulate in the closet

Like many of their peers in other corporations, the Accelerator & Leadership team was at a standstill because the idea was disruptive. It was carrying risk to do it and to not do it, so they had mixed thoughts on how and whether to move forward.

The Outcome

The Nike Accelerator team spent 18 months in the PX Venture Studio; where they went from concept-to-revenue-to-profit. Now it’s a multi-million dollar growth business for Nike, scaling profitably in annual revenue and being spun-in as its own line of business, Nike Adventure Club.

As if an additional revenue stream wasn’t enough, they also:

  • Tapped into an attractive market (young athlete) and acquired highly attractive new-to-Nike customers
  • Established a new business model: direct-to-consumer subscription model
  • Enrolled consumers into a persistent service relationship with Nike
  • Created behavior change for consumers to return their used shoes

We got into the market quickly to learn then earn

We worked alongside the Nike Accelerator team as hands-on designers and doers of affordable, in-market experiments. The skunkworks environmenwe created enabled this venture to pivot and grow, and eventually find a home in a (new-to-Nike) business unit.

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