Nike Brand president Trevor Edwards describes the digital impact

Nike Brand president Trevor Edwards describes the digital impact

Trevor Edwards was named president of the Nike Brand in June, succeeding Charlie Denson, who retired.

Edwards’ appointment was one of several the company announced at the time.

But at Nike’s annual shareholders meeting Thursday in the Tiger Woods Center on the World Headquarters campus, it was Edwards who fielded the bulk of the questions posed to executives at the meeting’s conclusion.

The format, with Nike board chairman Phil Knight reading the questions, offered Edwards a platform to expound on one of his favorite subject’s: digital technology and Nike.

“Nike has been a leader in the industry for years,” Knight said, reading from a comment card. “Are there further plans to extend further into services for consumers?”

Sales from digital products, such as the Nike FuelBand and digitally enabled shoes, remain a blip in Nike’s overall revenue. From North America to Europe to Greater China, footwear is still king — by far — in Nike’s $25.3 billion empire. Apparel sales are a distant second.

But that sort of current history does not dampen Edwards’ enthusiasm, shown by his answer. And, when he was done, a co-worker slapped a giant, bold-faced exclamation point on Edwards’ statement.

“You know,” Edwards began, “one of the greatest things we’re seeing today and I think one of the things all of us as consumers are experiencing is around digital technology.

“What digital technology really allows us to do is it allows us to provide new and better services to a broader range of consumers all the time. So our strategy really relies on three areas.

“One, which is digital brand connections, which is that interaction you have with a consumer or our consumes on a one-to-one basis, whether it’s through Twitter or Facebook or anything like that. That’s one dimension.

“The second dimension is what we call digital sports and services, where you’re able to do things like the FuelBand, where we’re able to help you — or Nike+ Running — where we can help you actually be better as a runner or be better in terms of how you train and connect with other runners as you do that.

“And then the third area would be digital commerce. And digital commerce is where we provide greater access to the brand like I talked about before. So, the idea that we can bring more services to a broader range of consumers — given digital technology — is a really great opportunity for our brand and allows us to serve more people all the time. So we’re truly excited about that.

“And last but not least, we’re also bringing great services when you come to our retail stores. So when you come to our retail stores we know have some specific services we’re now doing — whether it’s gait analysis for a runner or being part of a training club or a running club. So we’re really expanding out the idea of brand not only being about great products but also being about great services in terms of how we connect with our consumers.

Immediately after Edwards stopped talking, Nike chief executive Mark Parker offered his 2 cents.

“I’ll just go a little step further and I’d say it’s one of the top priorities for the company — is how digital technology will enable even more potential for Nike and our consumers around the world.”

— Allan Brettman