You know snowboarding has gone mainstream when sporting giant Nike is making equipment for it. Not only is Nike dabbling in winter sports gear, they are pursuing it full speed ahead, with a commercial and even a website dedicated to it. We expect nothing less than branding excellence from anything related to Nike, and this website doesn’t fail to disappoint.
Website Reviewed: nike.com/us/en_us/c/snowboarding
The landing page for Nike Snowboarding gives a well-rounded representation of the brand. Two different logos are shown: one that matches the normal Nike logo in tone and style and includes the familiar Swoosh, and one that is more modern and ornate, in keeping with many of the sports logos we have seen lately. Your only options on the landing page are to watch the commercial, view the boot, and enter the site.
Once you enter the website, the focus is on the products and the Nike Snowboarding brand. In addition to the aspects you would expect, such as product highlights and store locators, there are links to past products and a ‘family’ section that highlights snowboarders and stores that showcase Nike snowboarding gear.
Nike has an interesting challenge here: to for a moment remove their ties to more traditional sports and appear to be part of a newer, somewhat counterculture movement. This website makes it clear that Nike is as big a part of the world of snowboarding as any other brand, convincing people who enjoy Nike gear for other sports to give them a try.
Here’s what we think about the website as a whole:
Creativity: 4 stars. The zombie commercial is definitely a creative way of reaching out to the young adult market that dominates snowboarding. Similarly, the website is organized in a way that is similar to a news website, giving it an informative feeling. These and other creative touches give a youth-friendly feeling that will woo the snowboarding generation. Still, there are no aspects of the site that are truly impressive, and this market sector is all about the wow factor.
Ease of use: 5 stars. This website is highly usable. While the landing page definitely tries to funnel you to the commercial, once you enter the site itself everything is intuitively designed and easy to navigate.
Functionality: 3 stars. You can find everything you need to know about Nike Snowboarding here, from information on the products to information on the various functions. Our only complaint is that the links to Twitter, Facebook, and Vimeo are placed at the bottom of the page in tiny icons that can be difficult to spot if you don’t know what you are looking for. There should be a prominent area with links to the social networking sites for both the brand and its sponsored riders.
Content: 5 stars. There is plenty of content, and it is definitely professionally written. The videos and the pictures are all top notch as well.
Appropriateness: 5 stars. The black and white, somewhat informative but youthful feeling is definitely appropriate for the industry.
Overall: 4.4 stars. Nike has done a great job of differentiating this line from other Nike lines without losing ties to the overall brand.