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Nike 6.0 exec on new logo, apparel and the action sports industry

By Tiffany Montgomery
August 03, 2009 6:48 AM

Nike 6.0 is becoming more prominent in stores, at events and other places in the industry, so I asked North America Brand Manager Deb Friedman some questions about the brand, including plans for apparel, why the brand changed its logo and how Nike 6.0 is different from Nike SB.

How has 6.0 been received by the action sports community?

We definitely have the supporters and the haters, but we've stuck to our values and continue to support our athletes as best as we can. We support multiple sports and some are definitely more open than others. We started small and continue to show respect for the core through our support of the athletes, the communities around each of the sports and the retailers. Our team listens to our athletes and our dealers so we can do right by them and our consumers.

How does 6.0 distinguish itself from Nike SB? What is the best way to tell the two brands apart?

SB is skateboarding only. It is 100% dedicated to core skateboarding and retailers. The distribution is tight and the brand is totally focused on that core market. 6.0 does not have a skate team. Our focus is on surf, snowboarding, BMX, MOTO, skiing and wake (Six sports=6.0). Skateboarding is something many of our athletes do and is a part of their lifestyle, but we don't focus on that.

Another point of differentiation between SB and 6.0 is that 6.0 is focused on the new generation of action sports athletes. Young action sports athletes today came up in a time where there were skate parks and snowboarding moms. There has always been an infrastructure around them to support them. They also participate in multiple sports, like our consumer base. Because of that, 6.0 athletes and the brand have a different vibe. Our athletes don't draw hard lines around their sports and are really accepting and open minded, so we follow their lead and celebrate that.

John GrahamHow is 6.0 being received by retailers?

Delivering innovative and performance-driven product is a huge priority for 6.0. The combination of compelling product stories tied to a new generation of action athletes is really exciting for our retail partners. We also work to bring some energy to retailers through our limited/collaboration projects, such as the Stinkween Braata, an artist footwear collaboration we launched at Jack's.

(Right: John Graham, director of sales, Nike Action North America.)

Are there particular products and or distribution channels that are selling well at the moment?

In footwear, the Mavrk Low and Oncore High have been pushing very well for our retailers this summer, and our newest shoe, the Braata, has been very well received. We are beginning to see some heat around T-shirts and backpacks as well.

I have seen some 6.0 apparel at stores. Is that a category that will expand?

Apparel is a huge part of 6.0. Action sports is a lifestyle and unlike traditional sports, there is no "uniform" so apparel has to be able to perform and translate on the lifestyle side to serve our athletes. There's a lot of room for growth and innovation in our apparel, which is really exciting.

How do you describe the vibe of the clothes?

Youthful, but not young, and really athlete inspired. Like our work evolving the logo we source inspiration from our athletes and what they want and how they want to express themselves. For instance, Mason Aguirre wears longer length shirts, so he inspired a lightweight pull over hoodie with a tall length that is in the Holiday collection.

Nike 6.0 logoWhy did Nike 6.0 change its logo?

Nike 6.0's main priority is to support our athletes, through our products, the brand identity, events, and marketing efforts. 6.0 started out 5 years ago as a young brand with a young team. The average age was 14. Fast-forward and the athletes' achievements expand daily - multiple X games medals and a Jr. World Champion, as do their contributions to their sports.

Through dialog and discussions with the athletes and the brand team, it became very apparent that the athletes had matured and no longer related to the logo. We respected that and decided that evolving the logo, the most important brand identity, to reflect the evolution of the athletes and the brand made the most sense. Everyone's stoked on the new logo.


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