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Sep 30, 2022
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JD Sports deepens Nike ties with first European 'Connected Partnership'

Sep 30, 2022

JD Sports had big news to end the week with the UK’s biggest sports retailer (and major international name) announcing that it’s been selected as Nike's first UK retail partner for its Connected Partnership.


Nike first launched the partnership programme in the US last autumn with Dick’s Sporting Goods. And on Friday it also announced a deal with Zalando to take it to mainland Europe.

JD said it’s launching the UK link-up “to unlock unprecedented access to member-exclusive products” from the American sports giant.

The integrated rewards programme gives customers priority access to select Nike products, experiences and offers.

In the hugely competitive sneaker and athleisure market, access to in-demand products is key and JD’s ability to maintain strong relationships with brands has been a winner for it many times over. Adding to that with such a deal should give an extra boost to sales.

It’s the first European business to go live with Nike's Connected Partnership, further “strengthening a long-standing successful strategic relationship”.

While this is clearly good news for JD, the company also touted the benefits for consumers and said that such a “collaboration delivers unmatched value for customers, expanding JD's unrivalled Nike product offering and further enhancing both companies' omnichannel experience”.

JD's customers, starting in the UK, will get access to select Nike member-only footwear and apparel when they opt to link their JD and Nike Membership accounts through the JD mobile app. By doing this, they unlock an instant reward bonus, curated collections, and earlier product access. In future, connected members will also have the opportunity to benefit from exclusive experiences and services.

JD also said the two companies will “harness their technological and digital expertise to serve consumers in a more convenient and rewarding way” and that the deal “also highlights JD and Nike's ability to provide a compelling and differentiated proposition both in-store and online through a deep understanding of their consumers”.

Régis Schultz, the still-new CEO of JD Sports, said the firms “have a long and successful history of working together as strategic partners. This mutually beneficial partnership enhances our strong customer connections.”

He added that it “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”.

It’s part of a wider trend that sees the biggest names in sports product working with fewer — but more important — partners and being one of those partners is hugely desirable for multibrand retailers.

The potential for the link-up with JD is huge. While this is UK-only for now, the retailer trades from 3,400 stores across 35 territories in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

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