The Nike Alumni Network – Extending the Reach of a Global Brand
6453 ALUMNI launched in 2020 as an alumni-founded network of former Nike employees and former Nike-sponsored athletes. It’s self-governing and self-sustaining, and lives by the values and aspirations on which Nike was originally founded.
“At Nike, we're always testing and evolving, creating products and experiences that surprise and delight consumers around the world. We’re a pretty unique organization with a unique culture, and we still share that innovation mindset.”
When Jana co-founded 6453 Alumni in 2020, it brought the Nike global alumni community together through one single digital platform solution for the first time. “Before this, there was no formal Nike alumni community. There were some informal groups on multiple social media platforms, but no central place where we all came together around the world.”
"People are surprised that it wasn't already in place,” Jana continues. “It extends the brand halo. We've been sharing stories about the ripple effect that Nike is having on the world through their people. They're very proud of the fact we put this together, and that we’re representative of all the best of the brand.”
EnterpriseAlumni was selected as the best match for the alumni network and their ambitions: “From the very first conversation we were impressed by EnterpriseAlumni’s extensive knowledge of corporate alumni networks in general and the solutions required to connect and engage our community. Because of that knowledge, as well as EnterpriseAlumni’s innovation-forward mindset, their solution was the best fit for us,” says Jana.
Keeping a Global Brand Connected
Nike is a truly global and inclusive brand, and it was vital to build an active and collaborative alumni community. "The number one feature is the language. Nike is a global company with offices in most countries around the world. It's great that people can read content in their native language," Jana explains. “This global directory didn't exist before. The solution has provided our members with the ability to reach out to former colleagues more directly and for us to provide them with a more Nike-centric experience.” The platform's searchability was also essential. "You're able to find people where they are, and that includes a map where you can drill down to who is in which city or area," she adds.
Alumni can then share their skill sets publicly – or ‘superpowers’, as they’re better known in the Nike community. “If you're looking for someone with a particular skill set, or you're looking for clients, or if you want to find somebody in your area, then then that's the way to be able to do it. We're putting businesses to businesses, people to businesses, investors with businesses, and we're putting people to people. It's really been fun to see that play out as we intended, and to broaden or expand everyone's individual networks.”
“EnterpriseAlumni has been such a great strategic partner, enabling us to try different things and see what worked”
Support from a Strategic Partner
The 6453 ALUMNI founders had a vision to inspire, innovate and enable a diverse and inclusive global community. Since this network was a first for the brand, they also needed the right level of expert advice. “EnterpriseAlumni has been such a great strategic partner, enabling us to try different things and see what worked before we made a really strong value proposition. We needed to get people onto the platform to be able to see what we were putting together and what we're creating. And that's really been amazing.”
With over a decade of alumni program experience, EnterpriseAlumni were able to share their knowledge of what really works and provide as much support as was needed. “We worked with their design team to create a beautiful homepage and a signup process. The way the platform’s been designed, and the ability to create new pages that we can customize, has been really amazing. In that innovation-forward mindset, EnterpriseAlumni are taking feedback from their clients and incorporating that into the platform enhancements.”
A Community that’s Growing Organically
The result has been to successfully create a community that’s engaging alumni. “We’re definitely getting the word out. A lot of that has to do with not just the platform, but also the way that we can list events or career opportunities, for example.” The data available to Jana gives the proof to this success story. “We've had about 10,000 site visits in 2022, and 50% of those visits were by new users and 50% were by returning users: it’s an ideal breakdown.” The number of unique visitors in 2022 grew by 73% on the previous year. “We're getting more people that are coming back to our platform. We drive this with our newsletters, which have an 88% open rate. We're also curating events in person and via Zoom, and providing some incredible experiences that people want to be a part of.”
“We've had about 10,000 site visits in 2022, and 50% of those visits were by new users and 50% were by returning users: it’s an ideal breakdown.”
The community is also seeing an increase in their engagement metrics. “We're getting current Nike employees - not just alumni - that want to be a part of it. And it’s also a community for former Nike-sponsored athletes: we have some world-class Olympians in our community, because they're part of the family too,” Jana shares.
As well as letting them know that their users are indeed reaping the benefits, the ability to share metrics and the demographics of our community has been very helpful. “It’s providing our potential partners and sponsors - including Nike - with additional data to demonstrate the value of their investment. We’re learning from the best of the alumni organizations out there, as well as from the vast experience the EnterpriseAlumni has in working with their clients. We really value that relationship.”
A Vision for the Alumni Network
The network’s directors are energized by the opportunities that the EnterpriseAlumni platform is letting them create – to enable connections between former colleagues, encourage networking, and showcase an array of teammate endeavors. Jana is clear on the impact they want to make: “Our objective is to build, engage and grow our community. Success to us is offering a beautifully designed, innovative, friction-free user experience that gives our community a reason to come to our platform and engage as an alternative to other social media platforms. This is something they would expect from a typical Nike digital engagement around the world. So that's what we're creating with EnterpriseAlumni.”