Nike’s Ethical Considerations and Social Issues Awareness

Nike is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading brands in producing sports clothing and footwear. It was one of the first sportswear businesses to collaborate with star players such as Michael Jordan, Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Nadal, and others to promote its products. Thus, Nike (2022) proclaims its mission as “bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world” (para. 1), remarking that “if you have a body, you are an athlete” (para. 1). With this approach, the company has become well-known for its strong stance on social issues and bringing awareness to them, for example, portraying women destroying gender stereotypes or supporting community during COVID-19 pandemic.

The brand uses creative strategies to connect with the customers on emotional level and develop a sense of relatability which boosts promotion of its products, especially on social media. Moreover, Nike also uses its social platforms to advocate for specific issues – for example, like Black Lives Matter and Pride Month. Garces (2022) adds that “Nike isn’t dubbed a rebel; however, the brand never fails to support its advocacies, even if it means losing customers” (para. 9). The company organizes tournaments and competitions around the world to support local youth and help them embark on a healthy and active lifestyle. An example of such a tournament is Grassroot Soccer in Africa – it was created as part of a social program to educate young people about HIV. Such an approach to emphasizing with its audience, coupled with well-developed narrative storytelling and thoughtful consideration of an issue the brand wants to address, allows Nike to create social media campaigns that quickly go viral. The company’s advertising and media strategy facilitates a strong sense of loyalty towards the brand from the customers, and establishes Nike as a business that truly cares for its clients.

Overall, it can be said that Nike’s business ethics has been fairly successful – the brand’s image on the internet and media is positive and each advertising campaign gains wide recognition among various audiences. A great part of this success can also be attributed to the company’s consistency in adhering to high quality standards and policies to ensure brand’s credibility both among consumers and suppliers. With factories and shops in various countries of the world, Nike is expected to follow compliance and regulation for distributing products internationally, and the company made it into one of the brand’s main responsibilities. This may sometimes result to a loss of business opportunities due to strong competition, both local and global; however this reaffirms that Nike takes value in their credibility to reduce delays and/or penalties. Working with multiple export and import laws is a task that requires attention to detail and strong adherence to rules of each country, thus it can be concluded that Nike’s legal responsibilities are well-met.

Nike also strives to facilitate corporate social responsibility at every level of organization. According to the company’s website (2022), “every job at Nike, Inc. is grounded in a team-first mindset, cultivating a culture of innovation and a shared purpose to leave an enduring impact” (para. 2). While the brand does struggle with accusations of ethical issues such as human rights violations, environmental damage, and use of ambiguous technologies, it did not suffer from any major scandals as of late (Ethical Consumer, 2021). However, one could say that Nike indeed has dubious politics, and they are affecting not only the executive chain and managing lead but the employees too, especially in factories overseas.

Despite all the struggles, Nike remains a strong and steady leader in the global market of sportswear, raising industry standards to a new level. The company’s approach to advertising and marketing allows it to build loyalty in its customers, and creative social media campaigns facilitate the brand’s positive image. It can be concluded that Nike’s business success lies not only in its well-designed strategy to promoting its products but also in its active stance on social issues that attracts customers to it.


Ethical Consumer. (2021). How ethical is Nike Inc.? Ethical Consumer since 1989. Web.

Garces, K. (2022). 10 examples of the best Nike Social Media Marketing Campaigns. Unlimited Graphic Design Service. Web.

Nike. (2022). Our mission. Nike | About. Web.

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