Case Study: Nike


Sam McCracken, General Manager, Nike N7

Sam is a basketball coach and a Native American – of the Sioux tribe in Montana. He also works for Nike – one of the most iconic brands in the world.

Sam’s community, like many Native American communities, are battling epidemic levels of diabetes. And for Sam, this is personal. His own mother died of complications from type 2 diabetes in 2001.

When Sam embarked on his intrapreneurial journey – he wasn’t working in some high-powered executive office. He was working in a warehouse in Wilsonville, Oregon, when he had an idea. 

He said to himself, “I work for the biggest sports company in the world. I must be able to do something in my role at Nike to help my community.” He didn’t have a grand plan, he heard in a need in his community and believed he could help.

Sam started working with leaders in his community to promote healthy lifestyles by organizing events – such as fun runs and walks. He arranged to provide free or discounted Nike products to incentivize people to take part.

As he saw the momentum around this project grow, he began to share his story with others in Nike. Sam’s energy was infectious and a team of Nike designers offered to help create products in line with Sam’s vision. The result was Nike N7 – a line of products embodying the sustainability values of Native American communities and encouraging kids to get active.

N7’s motto: Nike believes kids aren’t meant to sit still, they’re Made to Play. The N7 collection supports Nike’s commitment to get kids moving through the N7 Fund, which supports organizations to provide sport and physical activity programming to kids in Native American and Aboriginal communities so that they can lead healthier, happier and more successful lives. Since its inception in 2009, the N7 Fund has awarded $5.6 million in grants to 243 communities and organizations, reaching more than 420,000 youth. Harnessing the power of sport as a unifying force, the N7 Fund helps kids reach their greatest potential and reflects Nike’s belief in creating more equal playing fields for everyone.

Learn more about the impact of N7 here.

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