Nike Mental Health Campaign: Mental health refers to emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It has a very big and solid impact on how we think, feel, and act. It is also an indicator of how we are able to handle stress, relate to the problems and the situations around us, relate to others, and make choices.
From childhood to adolescence and through adulthood, mental health plays a very important role. In today’s world, millions of people have mental health conditions and it is estimated that one out of four people in the world will experience mental health conditions once in a lifetime. It is so scary to see that almost one million people die due to suicide every year and is the third causing death among young people.
COVID 19 has negatively affected the mental health of people. There was fear, worry, and stress because life was highly uncertain at that time. People experienced fear during that time. There was a huge change in the daily lives of the people, as there was nationwide lockdown, and everyone was forced to stay inside their homes.
There were new harsh realities experienced during that time, which was working from home, temporary employment, children attending schools from the homes, and practically no physical contact with the family members, friends, and colleagues. The mental and physical health of the people was seriously affected during this time.
A brand, Nike has come up with a different way to help the employees cope up with the disastrous impact of COVID 19 and help them in recovering from it. The brand as announced on August 31, 2021, has given its head office employees a week off.
This step has been taken to support the mental health of the employees. The company has realized that the coronavirus pandemic has been harsh on the mental health of the employees.
The senior manager of global marketing science at Nike, Matt Marrazzo had posted Linkedln saying that the headquarters of Nike, which is at, Beaverton Oregon were “powering down” for a week.
He further said that all the senior members of the organization were sending a clear and a direct message: Take the time to unwind, destress, and spend time with your loved ones. Do not work. He was a strong believer in the thought that taking time to rest and recover was the “key to performing well and staying sane”.
It has also been confirmed by the spokesperson of the company, that offices of Nike in different locations are being closed down for a week, in order to allow employees additional time off to rest and recover. According to the statement made by the company, the previous year was trauma and a rough one.
The company is hopeful that the empathy and the grace shown by the company towards its people will in return be positively shown on the culture of work moving forward. The company wants to acknowledge the fact that the mental health of the employees is being taken care of and the work is also being done.
About the company Nike
Founded in 1954, Nike is an American public multinational corporation which is engaged in designing, developing, manufacturing, and marketing and sales of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories, and services around the world.
The company is the world’s largest supplier of athletic shoes and apparel and a major manufacturer of sports equipment. Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight founded the company and named it “Blue Ribbon Sports”, and on May 30, 1971, its name changed to “Nike”.
The name “Nike” has been derived from Nike, which is the Greek goddess of victory. The brand markets its products under the name Nike as well as other names like Nike Golf, Nike+, Nike Pro, Air Jordan, Nike Blazers, Air Force, Nike Dunk, Air Max, Foamposite, Nike CR7, and subsidiaries like Jordan Brand and Converse. Nike is a sponsor to many big and high-profile athletes and sports teams around the world, with the very famous “Just Do It” sign and Swoosh logo.
During this period of time, Nike has been involved in many buying and selling of many apparels and footwear companies. The first acquisition made by the company was in 1988, which was of Cole Haan, which is an upscale footwear company.
Then in 1994, it purchased Bauer Hockey. Then in 2002, Nike purchased Hurley International, which is a surf apparel company from its founder Bob Hurley. Then in 2003, Nike acquired Converse, which is a sneaker company for USD 309 million.
Then in 2007, it sold Starter, and in 2008, it sold Bauer Hockey. In 2012, it sold Umbro and in 2013 it sold Cole Haan. As of the year 2020, Nike owns only one subsidiary, which is Converse. In February 2021, it acquired Datalogue, which is a New York-based company focusing on digital sales and machine learning technology.
The company has been listed as the partner of the PRODUCT campaign together with other brands like American Express, Converse, and Girl. The mission of the campaign is to prevent the transmission of HIV from a mother to a child.
The byline of the campaign is “Fighting for AIDS free generation”. The goal of Nike in this campaign is to raise and send funds, for education and medical assiatance to those who live in areas heavily affected by AIDS.
The company also has a Nike Community Ambassador Program, that allows the employees of the company from any part of the world to go out and give to their communities. More than 3900 employees of Nike have participated in teaching children to be active and healthy.
The company has good relations with the University of Oregon, where it is engaged in designing the attire of the football team of the University. New unique combinations are issued before every game and Tinker Hatfield, who is responsible for redesigning the logo of the university leads this effort.
The company has even donated USD 13.5 million for the renovation and expansion of Hayward field. The company has been seeing an increase in revenue from USD 13,740 million in 2005 to USD 44,538 million in the year 2020. Even the number of employees of the company have increased from 26,000 in 2005 to 73,300 in 2020.
About Phil Knight
Born in 1983, in Portland, Oregon, Phil Knight is an American billionaire businessman and is the co-founder of Nike, and previously was the chairman and CEO of the company. In July 2020, he has been ranked as the 24th richest person in the world by the Forbes magazine, with an estimated net value of USD 50.07 billion.
He is also the owner of Laika, which is a stop motion film production company. He is an alumnus from University of Oregon and Standford Graduate School of Business. At Nike, Phil Knight had developed the closest relations with some of the famous athelets like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods.
Some of the recognitions which he has received over the period of time are-
In 1989, he received the prestigeous Golden Plate Award for the American Academy of Achievement, for his contribution to businesses, corporate and philanthropic leadership.
He was also elected to the 2015 American Academy of Arts and Sciences membership class
In 2000, he was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame for his special contribution to sports in Oregon
In 2012, he was announced as a 2012 inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, as a contributor
Other companies working towards mental health
Nike is not the first company who has prioritised the mental health of the employees.
In June 2021, the dating application, Bumble had given a week long vacation to its employees to help them overcome tiredness and burnout.
Then in July, Bumble announced that it will be making a collective week off a twice-yearly permanent perk.
Linkedln had also given its 15,900 employees a paid week vacation in April, so that the workers could get charged up.
The Chief People Officer at Linkedln,Teuila Hanson, had made a statement regarding this, where he said that it was really inspiring to see how important is the culture, wellness and the mental health of the employees are to any company and business.
A survey had been conducted by Visier, which is a workforce analytics firm in the United States of America, where it surveyed 1,000 full-time workers in the U.S., where the results found out were-
89% of the employees had experienced burnouts in the last year, 70% of the employees said that they would leave the current job for another organization which will be offeringbetter resources to reduce the feeling of burnout.
Today, mental health of an individual should be the top priority of the organizations. The problems of mental health and severity with it are increasing, and it is the job of the organization, business, and a company to take care of its employees, to make sure they are mentally relaxed and healthy.
It feels so good to see companies like Nike, Bumble taking care of its employees, and have set an examples for all the organizations operating and working that a sound mental health has become the need of an hour.
Today, an employee while choosing a company to work foe not only looks for the salary, but also for incentives like these which take care of them. Companies and organizations need to have a serious look on this important matter.
Edited by Sanjana Simlai.