Nike steps up digital transformation with startup purchase
This latest move, part of the sportswear giant’s Consumer Direct Acceleration (CDA) strategy to improve connectivity with its customers via a more direct selling route “builds on our digital momentum by enhancing our ability to transform raw data into actionable insights in real-time and across the enterprise”, Nike Inc. CEO,
John Donahoe said in a statement.
As a cutting-edge and proprietary machine-learning technology that automates preparation and integration, Datalogue will allow Nike to integrate data seamlessly from all sources, including its app ecosystem, supply chain and enterprise data, so the data becomes more easily accessible to the company and is standardised across platforms.
The acquisition will see the Datalogue team integrated into Nike’s Global Technology organisation.
What is Nike’s digital innovation strategy?
The acquisition of Datalogue is a continuation of Nike’s strategy to improve connectivity with its customers.
Back in 2017, Nike unveiled its Consumer Direct Offense, a strategy aimed at ramping up its connectivity to consumers via more direct selling as well as digital innovation. And it’s been working.
In October 2020, during the middle of the pandemic and even while the retail brand had to close more than 900 stores worldwide, Nike’s share price hit an all-time high, a validation of its Consumer Direct Offense strategy.
In December 2020, the company reported better-than-expected earnings and announced it had logged three consecutive quarters of roughly 80% digital growth. During Q2 2021, its online sales surged 84% with triple-digit growth in North America and double-digit increases in Europe, MENA, Greater China, Latin America and Asia Pacific.
The next phase for Nike, now a focus for 2021, is its Consumer Direct Acceleration, a business strategy focused on direct, digital sales with plans to increase investments in technology and ecommerce for improved digital innovation on consumer touchpoints.
How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans
AWS needs no introduction to readers of Technology Magazine but we rarely get an opportunity to look closely at how it serves the sports sector. All major sports draw in a huge supporter base that they want to nurture and support. Technology is the key to every major sports organization and enabling this is the driving force for AWS, says Matt Hurst, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Communications for AWS. “In sports, as in every industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence and high performance computing are helping to usher in the next wave of technical sports innovation.”
AWS approaches sports in three principal areas. “The first is unlocking data’s potential: leagues and teams hold vast amounts of data and AWS is enabling them to analyze that data at scale and make better, more informed decisions. The second is engaging and delighting fans: with AWS fans are getting deeper insights through visually compelling on-screen graphics and interactive Second Screen experiences. And the third is rapidly improving sports performance: leagues and teams are using AWS to innovate like never before.”
Among the many global brands that partner with AWS are Germany's Bundesliga, the NFL, F1, the NHL, the PGA Tour and of course NASCAR. NASCAR has worked with AWS on its digital transformation (migrating it's 18 petabyte video archive containing 70 years of historical footage to AWS), to optimize its cloud data center operations and to enable its global brand expansion. AWS Media Services powers the NASCAR Drive mobile app, delivering broadcast-quality content for more than 80 million fans worldwide. The platform, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, helps NASCAR provide fans instant access to the driver’s view of the race track during races, augmented by audio and a continually updated leaderboard. “And NASCAR will use our flagship machine learning service Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models to enhance metadata and video analytics.”
Using AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning, NASCAR aims to deliver even more fan experiences that they'd never have anticipated. “Just imagine a race between Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale Jr at Talladega! There's a bright future, and we're looking forward to working with NASCAR, helping them tap into AWS technology to continue to digitally transform, innovate and create even more fan experiences.”
Just as AWS is helping NASCAR bridge that historical gap between the legacy architecture and new technology, more customers are using AWS for machine learning than any other provider. As an example, who would have thought five years ago that NFL would be using ML to predict and prevent injury to its players? Since 2017, the league has utilized AWS as its official cloud and ML provider for the NFL Next Gen Stats (NGS) platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play on every inch of the field. “One of the most potentially revolutionary components of the NFL-AWS partnership,” says Matt Hurst, “is the development of the 'Digital Athlete,' a computer simulation model that can be used to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment—including variations by position and environmental factors, emphasizing the league's commitment to player safety.”