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What marketers can learn from Nike “Pro Hijab Collection” for female Muslim athletes

Nike was the goddess of victory in Greek mythology, Nike as a brand just proved that it got strong believes in human diversity and cultural competence than some political leaders.

Nike just introduced a performance hijab for Muslim women athletes and it’s called the “Nike Pro Hijab”.

The new Nike spring 2018 Pro Hijab Collection sends a strong message about the nobility of sport that shouldn’t differentiate between any skin color, gender or race.

Sports only knows passion, ambition and dedication.

Nike do not believe in Islam, Nike believes in Market Insights!

If marketers have one lesson to learn from the Nike Pro Hijab. It should be about how a brand should adapt itself and the products offered to meet the customers’ need. We shouldn’t expect the consumers to change their lives to meet the brand’s product or fashion line!

Empowering women with more than just a product, but rather a solution to their needs while both professional and everyday Muslim athletes helped create the Nike Pro Hijab.

Do you remember the huge social media buzz during Rio Olympics about Egypt’s Beach Volleyball player in hijab?

Back in Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, Doaa Elghobashy and her partner Nada Meawad made history as they played in the Copacabana beach court, becoming Egypt’s first ever Olympic team to compete in a beach volleyball tournament.

The social media buzz was not about the historic event for Egypt’s beach volleyball team. The buzz started when Team Egypt’s Doaa Elghobashy appeared in hijab on the beach volleyball court!

Instead of just watching the game, some insightful minds should have spotted an opportunity to open new markets and develop a new product lines for consumers who are already ready to use!

Egyptian Women's Beach Volleyball Player Wears Hijab Against Bikini Opponents at Rio Olympics
Egyptian Women’s Beach Volleyball Player Wears Hijab Against Bikini Opponents at Rio Olympics

Nike the sportswear giant knows how to innovate to inspire, develop and introduces not just products but adventures, experiences.

In Nike’s pursuit of enhancing every Muslim female athlete’s life, it has just came first in the innovation race, channeling the Greek Goddess of Victory (Nike) and winning over millions of Hijab-wearing women all over the world, not only in the Arab world.

Nike Hijab Commercial

Nike-sponsored Olympic weight lifter Amna Al Haddad from the United Arab Emirates helped inspire the company to develop the hijab after she had difficulty finding a head covering that was comfortable and would adhere to competition standards, according to the New York Times. Haddad appeared in a Nike advertisement in April 2016, wearing a hijab without a logo. Now Nike’s signature swoosh is displayed prominently on the side of the Pro Hijab.

2 days before International Women’s day 2017, The official YouTube channel of Nike Women released an advert asking a rhetorical, discouraging question that is often asked whenever a female is going to do something “against the norm” of the society.

There is always this fear of what will the people say about her doing this or that. Following one’s passion is up to the public’s opinion.

The advert gained 922K viewership, was shared 5K times and has 26K likes.

“The film aims to highlight the stories of amazing athletes to encourage and inspire others,” Hind Rasheed, Nike’s communication manager in Dubai, told CNN.

The advert features Emirati figure skater Zahra in the sportswear and also, Tunisian fencer and Olympics medalist Ines Boubakri, Emirati Parkour trainer Amal Mourad, Saudi singer Balqees Fathi and Jordanian boxer Arifa Bseiso.

Nike Pro Hijab Spring 2018 Collection:

After the release of the advert and on the International Women’s Day, Nike released a statement announcing their new Pro Hijab Collection will be available in the Spring 2018 Collection.

The much awaited sportswear from Nike after the Plus size collection, Hijab wearing athletes were always facing an extra challenge with training in their normal garment’s weight, the potential for it to shift during action and its lack of breathability disrupted their focus.

So Nike has developed its first high-performance ‘Pro’ hijab, made from a sportswear mesh fabric, the lightweight polyester features tiny, strategically placed holes for optimal breathability, in neutral colors.

“The Nike Pro Hijab may have been more than a year in the making, but its impetus can be traced much further back, to an ongoing cultural shift that has seen more women than ever embracing sport,” Nike said in a statement.

The Pro Hijab collection is inspired by Sarah Attar, the first female track athlete to compete for Saudi Arabia in the London Olympics in 2012, who finished 800m, Dressed in a long-sleeved green training top, long jogging bottoms and a white hijab. She definitely stood out and she was given a stand ovation as she crossed the finish line, almost a full lap behind the others. Along with, Emirati weightlifting Olympian Amna Al Haddad.

Zahra Lari, the first Emirati figure skater, Dubbed as the “Ice Princess” of the United Arab Emirates. She is one of the athletes featured in the advert as well, she told Nike: “I am covered, I am Muslim, I am from a desert country, but I am doing a winter sport and it’s fine,” She aspires to become a role model through persistence and stamina.

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✨H A P P Y ✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨I N T E R N A T I O N A L✨ ✨W O M E N ' S D A Y ✨✨✨✨✨ Still recovering from yesterday's overdose of love and support everyone has shown me after the Nike Pro #Hijab Campaign has launched. ✨ ✨ Still feels surreal and overwhelming and feels life – changing to be involved if even remotely , in a campaign like this. ✨ ✨ ✨ Again Changing the world, one #Hijabi athlete at a time. ✨ ✨ ✨ Happy International Women's Day to every beautiful woman who has ever doubted herself , thought she couldn't, only to turn around and decide she can. ✨ ✨ It's not easy growing up , at least in this region, being a girl . ✨ ✨So much pressure, constraints & confusion – sometimes you want to just run away from it all. ✨ ✨ If you're a little girl reading this, I want you to know that you are the World and Universe in motion. ✨ You are capable of anything your heart desires or anything that you set your heart and mind to. ✨ Nobody can stop you if you believe in your dreams and have the power to persevere. ✨ You have the power to persevere and endure anything and everything to fight for one dream. ✨ ✨ If you're a little older and still confused, know that God will help pave your way, again all you have to do is believe and shut out the small voices whether Inside your head or all around you – focus on your destination and never look anywhere else. ✨ ✨ ✨ If you're a woman and you don't like lifting other women, are jealous or always bitter about other's success, please know in your heart that we are all special in our own way. If all women supported each other , very beautiful things can and will happen. ✨ ✨ ✨ Today I hope for all women to be calm in their hearts, strong in their hearts and kind and loving towards other women first and foremost. We are all here a very little while, what's your story, how will you make and leave an impact? ✨ ✨ Seek only inspiration from other strong women, look up to them, cheer them on, be happy for them, follow even in their steps but DO NOT HURT THEM. ✨ Here's to every woman who is fighting an internal battle everyday and keeps swimming anyway. I love you, thank you, bless you. #internationalwomensday #IWD2017 📸@vivienneballa

A post shared by Manal A Rostom (@manirostom) on

She was one of the athletes who tested the Nike Pro Hijab along with Nike+ Run Club Coach Manal Rostom, the Egyptian Mountaineer.

Nike are not only inspiring hijab-wearing athletes but also, modest sportswear for any athlete. The diversity and inclusion of any athlete* is opening new doors for Nike, as many females were discouraged to train and exercise due to not available modest attire or a preferable solution to their religious practices.

*Nike believes that if you have a body, then you’re an athlete.

Nike inspires everyone to just Do It.

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