Nike CEO John Donahue satisfied many sneakerheads upon announcingthe relaunch of the Nike Kobe line on the brand’s Q4 2023 earnings call. While this grabbed the headlines, Donahue also revealed that Nike's WNBA business has doubled in just two years among other key facts for the brand.
“The Sabrina 1 is resonating strongly since launch, helping double our WNBA business versus what it was two short years ago,” Donahue said.
Sabrina Ionescu’s silhouette is slated to make its debut in August. Nike also recently launched the Nike Deldon, WNBA star Elena Delle Donne’s signature model. Delle Donne became the first woman to receive a silhouette from Nike since Diana Taurasi in 2006.
Nike’s growth for its WNBA product comes in tandem with the league's growth during the 2022 season. ESPN reported a 22 percent increase in viewership for this past season, as it became the most-watched in 16 years. Nike also announced in February 2022 that it would make a major investment into the WNBA.
Outside of the performance sector, women designers and collaborators have played a major role in Nike’s business. John Donahue cited Teyana Taylor’s Air Jordan 1 High Zoom CMFT 2 as part of Jordan Brand’s ability “to dictate the conversation” in sportswear culture, “Jordan brand delivered another dominant quarter with women's leading growth," Donahue added. Other external female designers and collaborators who've worked with Nike and Jordan Brand include Nina Chanel Abney, Melody Ehsani, Aleali May, and Yoon Ahn.
Aside from the women's sector, Donahue also announced a milestone for Nike's footwear for kids. The shock drop for the Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse-themed Air Jordan 1 High OG “The Next Chapter” marked the largest such release for a kids shoe on the SNKR app.
An array of women’s and kid’s exclusive releases from Nike Inc. are slated to take place in the coming year. This is not expected to slow down anytime soon. As the WNBA and women’s sports continue to grow, so will Nike’s utilization of women athletes and designers. For more updates on the latest happenings in sneakers and streetwear, keep it locked to our Twitter and the Sole Retriever mobile app.