Nike took a lot of criticism this week after pulling a patriotic sneaker design from store shelves over concerns it could have unintentionally offended customers, but the company’s association with American sports is still valuable.
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The U.S. women’s national soccer team home jersey is the best-selling soccer jersey, men’s or women’s, ever sold on Nike's website in one season, CEO Mark Parker said in Nike’s recent Q4 earnings call.
Nearly two-thirds of the teams in the Women’s World Cup wore Nike uniforms and half the players wore Nike shoes, according to Parker. He said the company’s women’s business has been “showing great potential.”
“It’s hard to overstate how important this year has been to the evolution of the women’s offense at Nike,” Parker said.
Nike boasted a 13 percent fourth-quarter revenue increase to $9.8 billion, according to its earnings report. That included double-digit growth in women’s footwear and apparel.
The company remains focused on delivering for “the everyday athlete,” according to Parker. He said Nike was the top bra seller in North America this past quarter for the first time ever. The company is expanding its “inclusive sizing” for women in 90 styles. USA Today recently reported that Nike added plus-sized and para-sport mannequins to its flagship stores.
Parker said Nike plans to accelerate growth in its women’s business through online sales. Its women’s business through digital platforms is outpacing wholesale channels.
“Our momentum in women’s is a great example of how our renewed focus is really moving the needle through thoughtful design, powerful brand messages and digitally-led distribution,” Parker said.