Through this unique program, Nike was able to reimagine how Team, League, Brand, and Community relationships intersect and complement each other, while keeping the Gen Z consumer at the heart of the program.
Game Growers delivered one central concept that was brought to life by individual girls in each market, and we unlocked a new approach to working together to solve a problem that is bigger than any of us as individuals. By empowering and enabling girls to use their voice and share their ideas, we heard new and unique ideas on how to start closing the participation gap for girls. We adapted and evolved together through the COVID-19 pandemic, completely shifting from a physical program to one navigated via Zoom and FaceTime. This allowed girls to bring their ideas to fruition, regardless of the complexity in the world.
Objective: Sports participation is falling in the United States, with the largest dropout rate among girls ages 10-14. In this age group, girls are twice as likely than boys to stop playing. There are a variety of contributing factors, resulting in feeling like they do not have a voice in the way they experience sports, and that they don't belong. By bringing corporate, league and non-profit partners together, we sought to empower girls to define where sports could go. Girls from across the United States submitted ideas that would encourage more girls in their community to play sports, and then inspired and supported them as they developed and implemented their ideas.
Strategy & Execution: Nike, the NBA and WNBA and all 36 participating WNBA and NBA teams joined together to promote this opportunity for girls, using the first-ever co-streamed broadcast aimed at driving awareness of the program. In that program Nike, the WNBA, multiple WNBA and NBA Teams, and influencers created a program that was simultaneously broadcast on their social media channels.
This started a conversation around the reasons girls are leaving sports and asked girls to apply with ideas for positive change. WNBA and NBA Teams then hosted application gatherings, used social media outreach, television, in-arena messaging and athletes to amplify the opportunity. Girls applied as teams of two by sharing why the issue of girls and inactivity mattered to them, submitting an idea that could grow girls’ sports participation in their community. Each of the 36 participating WNBA and NBA teams then selected one pair of girls with whom they would collaborate - surprising each Game Grower team with a personal selection moment.
Results: The Nike Game Grower program enabled each team of girls as they developed and evolved their idea into an executable game plan over a 6-month journey. Each WNBA and NBA team supported their Game Growers along the way, helping to bring their idea to life. Girls in all 36 markets piloted their ideas in their local community with peers and mentors. In doing so, over 2,500 other girls and women were able to experience the Game Growers program firsthand.
Nike has shared all 36 game plans with the world via a digital showcase, creating the potential for each idea to come to life anywhere, and their program-launching co-streamed broadcast drove nearly 200K views driving much-needed awareness for this issue.