Piper Jaffray released its semiannual report on teen spending this week, and the odds were very much in favor of Nike. Not only was Nike the top clothing brand for teens across all income levels (favorite of 24% of surveyed teens), it was the second e-commerce destination surpassed only by Amazon. Other signs in favor of Nike: the spread of the athleisure trend and the downfall of other brands competing for teen wallets. Teen girls say they no longer wear Aeropostale and Abercrombie & Fitch, and activewear is now more popular than denim.

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 2.41.08 PMA large part of Nike’s success with millennials is most likely due to its digital prowess. The Genius and No. 1 in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Sportswear has made efforts to reach a digitally savvy consumer base through product customization, training apps, and effective YouTube campaigns. Nike’s customization program is the gold standard as it allows users to rotate, zoom, and switch camera angles as they pick materials and colors. It enables users to take a snapshot of their custom-made products and share directly to social media channels. For those in need of inspiration Nike displays several designs of each model.

On YouTube – which reaches 50% of 18 to 34-year-olds – Nike hold tight reign on the top spot with 350 million views for its top Risk Everything campaign starring six soccer stars. Launched ahead of the FIFA World Cup, the Risk Everything campaign was a series of seven videos, extended to other social media channels with the hashtag #AskZlatan and included a live Google+ hangout with the animated Zlatan Ibrahimović.

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Nike has also done a stellar job turning consumers into engaged and perhaps loyal consumers. The Nike+ Training Club app targeting women boasts over 17 million members.


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