In a bold move to capitalise on its direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales growth, Nike’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), in a recent statement, has emphasised the importance of maintaining an offensive strategy. 

The sportswear giant recently reported a remarkable 13% increase in demand creation spend, totaling a substantial $1.1 billion, or £0.9 billion, in the first quarter of its 2024 financial year. 

This significant surge in spending can be primarily attributed to increased advertising and marketing expenses as Nike aggressively promotes its products to consumers worldwide.

Shifting Away from Extensive Discounting

Nike is strategically shifting away from its previous extensive discounting strategy, which had been a cornerstone of its approach in recent years. 

While the company acknowledges that consumers remain cautious about overspending, they are now planning for modest markdown improvements for the remainder of the year. 

What’s more, this shift is in line with Nike’s commitment to enhancing full-price growth in fiscal year 2024, ultimately aiming for profitability by focusing on the value of their products.

Global Growth and Regional Challenges

Nike’s latest financial results reveal an impressive 3% increase in revenues, reaching a staggering $12.4 billion, or £10.12 billion. 

Furthermore, this growth has been primarily driven by strong performances in multiple regions, including EMEA, Greater China, and Asia Pacific

However, the North American market, which is traditionally a powerhouse for the brand, experienced a decline, affecting both the broader Nike brand and its Converse product line.

Optimism for the Second Half of 2023

Despite the challenges faced in the North American market, Nike remains exceedingly optimistic about its performance for the second half of 2023. The brand’s optimism is fueled, in no small part, by high expectations surrounding the upcoming holiday season. 

To ensure continued success, the company is closely monitoring various factors, including foreign currency exchange rates, consumer demand during the holiday season, and the status of its second-half wholesale order book. 

As a result, Nike anticipates that overall revenue for the year will see a slight increase compared to 2022, indicating a positive outlook for the brand’s future growth.

DTC and Membership Strategy Flourishes

Nike’s relentless focus on its direct-to-consumer (DTC) and membership strategy is proving to be a resounding success. The latest financial report reveals a 2% increase in digital sales on a reported basis, with overall DTC sales skyrocketing by an impressive 6%, outperforming wholesale distribution channels. 

What’s more, consumers are demonstrating an ever-increasing desire to connect directly with the Nike brand, resulting in a remarkable double-digit growth in member engagement compared to the previous year. 

Also, impressively, this increase in engagement is further driving up average order values, reflecting the effectiveness of Nike’s direct engagement strategies. During the quarter, Nike’s direct revenues reached a substantial $5.4 billion, or £4.4 billion, marking a remarkable 6% increase across all territories.

The Benefits and Pitfalls of Demand Creation

Demand creation, as a marketing strategy, offers several benefits and pitfalls. On the positive side, it plays a crucial role in generating awareness and interest in a product or service, ultimately driving sales

Additionally, effective demand creation can establish a brand’s presence in the market, build customer loyalty, and stimulate consumer demand, leading to increased revenue and market share. Moreover, it allows companies to adapt to changing consumer preferences and market trends, fostering innovation and competitiveness.

However, demand creation also comes with its challenges and potential pitfalls. It often involves substantial financial investments, including advertising and marketing expenses, which can strain a company’s budget. 

Moreover, creating demand doesn’t always guarantee conversion to sales, and a mismatch between demand and supply can lead to overstock or stockouts, impacting profitability. Additionally, it requires a deep understanding of the target audience and market dynamics, and ineffective demand creation strategies can result in wasted resources and missed opportunities. 

Therefore, balancing the benefits and challenges of demand creation is essential for businesses seeking sustainable growth and success in today’s competitive landscape.


Nike’s commitment to an offensive approach in the world of direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales is undoubtedly paying off, as evidenced by its remarkable financial results. With a strategic shift away from extensive discounting, the company aims to achieve robust full-price growth in fiscal year 2024. 

Despite regional challenges in North America, Nike remains exceptionally optimistic about the second half of 2023, closely monitoring various factors to ensure continued success. What’s more, the brand’s relentless focus on DTC and membership strategies is proving fruitful, with strong growth in digital sales and direct revenues

As Nike continues to navigate a changing landscape, its ability to adapt and thrive is evident, refuting claims of operational waste and setting the stage for future growth and profitability. What’s more, the brand’s aggressive approach remains a driving force behind its impressive and continuing performance in the marketplace.