Nike, the global sports brand that makes shoes for professional athletes, says it’s about “grow young.”
But is that true?
The company says it believes fitness is “the ultimate expression of human character,” and that fitness has a “unique place in our culture.”
But the word fit is used more than once, often to refer to fitness, and has been used in this way in recent years, even by Nike itself.
Nike says it “emphasizes growth through quality” and encourages people to “do more with less,” which is why it’s a fit brand, not a fitness brand.
Nike and its brands have long been associated with the phrase “fit” in a negative way, and the company has had to clarify some of its claims.
“The word fit has been misused by Nike in recent times to refer specifically to the pursuit of athletic performance, rather than to a broader and more inclusive sense of fitness,” the company wrote in a blog post published Wednesday.
“In recent years we have seen a broad shift from the old paradigm of fit to the fitness and wellness values that have always been a part of Nike’s DNA.
Our commitment to fitness is the ultimate expression.
As such, we have made changes in our marketing messaging to emphasize growth through fit.”
In an interview with USA Today in December, Nike said it uses the term “fit and health” to describe how athletes perform.
“Fit is a lifestyle, and wellness is a personal relationship.
It’s the most important of the three,” the ad agency said.
In its ad for the Nike Air Max, for example, the ad says “Fit and health are the most fundamental values to us, and we’re constantly trying to figure out how we can make them more accessible and more effective for our customers.”
But when Nike says “grow youth,” it means fitness, not fitness fitness, the company said.
“We’re not saying, ‘grow up to be an athlete,’ ” Nike chief marketing officer Rob Stutz said in a phone interview.
“But the world of fitness is very different than the world we live in today.
We’re not looking to grow young.
We want people to be able to do things that they enjoy doing and that they are proud of.”
That could include exercise, but it could also include things like running or cycling.
“People can run, or cycle.
They can play with their kids, or they can work out,” he said.
Fitness, however, has been the focus of the company for decades.
It was a key focus at Nike’s first major conference, the Nike I/O in 2003, where CEO Phil Knight introduced the idea of “Fit” to the world.
“There’s this notion that fitness is all about how you look,” Knight said at the time.
“And there’s no doubt that when you’re looking for the best body shape, or the most athletic physique, you need to look in the right direction.”
The concept of fitness became a buzzword in the tech industry in the late 2000s, and it became a cornerstone of the Fitbit, the first smartwatch, and Nike+ fitness trackers.
Nike was already the biggest company in the world with a presence in more than 100 countries, and its sales of running shoes and other athletic gear continued to grow.
“Nike has a strong track record of developing products that help people achieve their fitness goals, and that continues to be our strategy,” said Michael Henn, a professor at the University of Michigan who studies fitness and sport at the school.
“This is a company that has always focused on health, and there is no question that Nike is a leader in this area.”
Nike’s relationship with Fitbit began in 2009, when Fitbit was founded by two former Nike employees, Matt Farley and Mark Parker.
At the time, Farley was chief of engineering and Parker was the vice president of business development.
Both men left the company in 2014, and Parker went to work for the San Francisco-based fitness startup Running Science.
Fitbit has since developed fitness tracking products, and Farley has been part of the team that is developing the Nike+ wearable technology.
But Fitbit and Nike did not work together for years.
“It was a bit of a surprise to me when I heard about it from a colleague at Nike, who was kind of a key person in the FitBit team,” said Farley, now a Nike marketing executive.
“I was surprised that Nike would not collaborate with them on anything that would help us make the Nike Watch 2 more wearable, because I knew that Nike was really good at fitness.”
Fitbit had some success selling its Fitbits in stores and through online channels, but the company lost money, and ultimately the two companies split up in 2017.
“Fitness tracking was the future,” Farley said.
But even as Fitbit’s success grew, it also suffered from the growing popularity of other fitness track devices. Fitbits