Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Nike's Native American Campaign

Nike sponsors various philanthropic activities largely aimed at empowering young people. They have (and still do I believe) offer grants to organizations providing sport opportunities for girls and young women.

But I did not know they have a similar effort aimed at young Native Americans and indigenous youth in the United States and Canada.
They (just) do (it).
I discovered the N7 campaign (named after the Native American philosophy of 7 generations--thinking about one's impact 7 generations into the future) when reading about the University of Nevada's basketball team.
Nevada partnered with N7 as part of the university's Native American Pride day last weekend when Nevada took on New Mexico State.
What's slightly problematic is the way Nike markets the N7 campaign. Because it's not just a campaign to raise awareness and fund opportunities for indigenous peoples, it's also to sell shoes. And not sell shoes in that good-publicity/charity-equals-more-product-sold kind of way. Nike Actually has an N7 line of products. Nevada wore the N7 sneakers and shirts (during warm-up).
The product line allegedly "embodies Nike's Considered Design ethos and takes cues from Native and Aboriginal culture.* The intent of the collection is to raise awareness for the N7 fund beyond just Native and Aboriginal communities."
I cannot make much of a pronouncement about the efficacy of this campaign, and I have learned that so few corporate charity endeavors are completely altruistic. So I hope it's doing more than just selling sneakers with a "native-inspired" design.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I live in Nevada and are of native american decent.
I have never heard of the N7 CAMPAIGN .