The Battle of the Nike Collabs
February 2023

By Cat Gladman

It seems that every morning when we log onto Instagram, or any social media platform for that matter, we are met with another collaboration launch between two major companies. To be fair, it’s a tried and tested marketing tactic which can help reidentify a brand. However, whilst some of the partnerships are perfectly matched and translate into symbiotic relationships (Hello, North Face x GUCCI.), there are others which beg the question: why? Let’s deep dive into two recent, very different collabs.  


Nike, the sports and apparel giant, is no stranger to a product partnership, whether it be a celebrity, brand or TV show. Anyone remember the SpongeBob sneakers? Well, they’re at it again; this time, with Tiffany and Co – which we’re sure requires no introduction – and Corteiz, the up-and-coming streetwear brand making #GorpCore happen. Let’s just say the two collaboration pieces and correlating marketing strategies are a world apart.

With leaks of the collaboration appearing all over social media, Tiffany and Co quickly scrambled to share a teaser pic across its social channels. The announcement post featured a Nike sneaker box in the iconic ‘Tiffany Blue’ shade, a post that amassed almost 1.5m likes on Instagram alone 


However, unfortunately for the two, the collaboration is off to a bumpy start with an underwhelming response to the hero product; a new edition of Nike’s famous Air Force 1 sneakers in black suede with a blue tick and silver badges affixed to each heel. Social media users weren’t silent in voicing their confusion over the remainder of the collection which includes a shoehorn, shoe brush (which everyone mistook for a toothbrush), whistle and dubrae (the metal ornament found at the centre base of tied up shoelaces).  


Moving on, we have the Corteiz and Nike collab which paints an entirely different picture. Prior to the announcement, eagle eyed fans may have spotted the London-based streetwear emblem projected front and centre onto Nike’s flagship London store on Oxford Circus. This type of advertising perfectly represents Corteiz who have a track history of guerrilla marketing stunts across London. Think back to their ‘cargo pants drop’ when they offered fans the chance to buy a pair of the sought-after cargo’s for 99p at Shepard’s Bush Market. Classic Corteiz. 


After videos and photos emerged across social media with fans highlighting what was at play, the collaboration was confirmed by a Corteiz Instagram post with the caption “CORTEIZ x NIKE RULESTHEWORLD” gaining almost 200k likes. With the use of ballsy and on brand marketing tactics, Corteiz commands their fans’ attention granting them dedicated followers and therefore an incredibly high reach and engagement rate.  


So, how will it play out for the two opposing teams? Although Tiffany has received negative attention, it has got people talking about the brand and viewing them in a new light. They’ll also gain exposure to Nike’s colossal 267m followers. Then we have Cortiez, who may be making a splash with their current strategy, but perhaps won’t reveal anything not already in their clothing repertoire. Let the battle begin: ding, ding, ding. 

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