On September 5, Nike teamed up with China’s premier podcasting and digital audio company JustPod to create a podcast of its own called “Nei Ting”. Hopping on the rising podcast trend in China, Nike invites not only professional athletes but also various sports enthusiasts to talk about sports as a way of life.
So far, the podcast has released four episodes on platforms such as Apple Podcasts and plans to continue releasing new segments every Monday. The first guest invited onto Nike’s podcast was Chinese women’s football goalkeeper Zhao Lina, who in the episode not only discusses football, but also reveals a more personal side of her, recounting the many hats she has previously worn as a drummer of a rock band, model and League of Legends player.
Over the past few years, a podcast obsession has taken off in China. In fact, Chinese audio content saw an eight-fold increase year-on-year in 2020. According to Statista, the number of podcast listeners in China is estimated to surpass 100 million with a 20% year-on-year growth rate in 2022. Among all categories, storytelling and conversational podcasts were the most popular content types among Chinese podcast audiences.
In Nike’s case, a podcast serves as a medium for conveying brand values, expanding digital outreach and building a solid community. What’s more, it is a podcast made by Chinese people for Chinese people, with Chinese athletes and sports enthusiasts sharing the latest insights on sports in the country. In this way, the recent move bolsters the digital aspect of Nike’s latest strategy of creating an “omnichannel” in the Chinese market.
Overall, Nike’s entry into the realm of audio content reflects the growth in the popularity of podcasts in China over the past two years. By creating a platform of its own, Nike can explore a more personal and authentic type of communication with its listeners.
Brands of all industries who seek to expand their digital presence in China can use podcasts to bolster brand image, foster communities, engage one’s fan base in a fresh way and even reach new listeners who could potentially convert into future clients.