NBA

Nike NBA smart jerseys will turn fans into human cookies

Internet businesses have used web browser cookies to improve their marketing for years, and Nike has found a way to implement that strategy in its new NBA jerseys.

One of the world’s biggest athletic apparel companies will soon have a plethora of data about customers who bought their NBA jerseys at their disposal thanks to Nike NBA smart jerseys.

As part of Nike’s unveiling of its new alternate jerseys for all 30 NBA franchises, Nike also announced the details of a new program that involves the authentic and Swingman jerseys that it will beginning selling to the public later this month.

According to Darren Rovell of ESPN, registered NikePlus users who have downloaded the Android or iOS app to their phones and also purchased any new Nike NBA jersey can utilize the new program.

Using the phone’s camera while in the NikePlus app, users just have to snap a picture of the jersey’s “jock tag.” Doing so will deliver a set of content specific to that player and his team, along with special offers for Nike gear related to the player and franchise. Users who also have an X-Box or PS4 console on which they play NBA 2k18 unlock a boost for the player whose jersey has been scanned.

While the new program can bring added value to a jersey purchase for fans, the value for Nike is much more tangible.

Upon scanning, Nike will receive a treasure trove of data from the user’s NikePlus account and location services on the app akin to the cookies that web browsers send to e-commerce sites. Nike will have more insight than ever into who is buying which jerseys when and where, allowing Nike to direct its marketing and stock into avenues most likely to optimize sales for the product.

While connecting fans to real-time data about their favorite players is a great way for Nike to deliver content to customers, the real value for Nike in this program is an expansion of their business analytics. If that helps Nike improve sales, then the price paid for the NBA license was money well spent.