On Monday 16th of February I travelled down to London to spend the day with Nike. It was insane. Straight up, unquestionably insane. There is simply no other way to put it.
The week before I had received an email from Seed Marketing asking if I was interesting in applying for the role of student brand manager to represent Nike at Bristol – of course I said yes, who wouldn’t be interested? Anyway, one phone interview later, and my train was booked for their training day in London.
The training began in their offices right in the centre. Sat in reception, waiting for everybody to arrive, every member of staff I saw was in some sort of Nike kit, the walls were covered in Nike branding, and there was no mistake where we were.
Sat around a table, indulging in the poshest sandwiches I’d seen for a good while, we were briefed on our role and Nike’s objectives.
If I wasn’t already, by the end of the talk, I’d fallen completely in love with the brand. I mean, you’d be hard pressed to find a girl these days who doesn’t love their stuff.
But, as it turns out, there’s so much more to the company than their awesome workout gear. Nike wants to make women fall in love with running, and they want to inspire a movement among girls to encourage them into sport – which, if you think about it, is an incredibly positive message.
Slogans like: ‘if you can run, you can run a race.’ and ‘if you have a body, you’re an athlete*’, are at the forefront of their campaign. As a girl and as a sportswoman (they’re two separate forms of identity, hence the distinction), I have a huge amount of respect for anything that tries to inspire girls into sport.
The Sports England This Girl Can movement is a particular favourite. Not just because some of it is filmed in the North West, but, because it encourages women to get a sweat on without being self-conscious.
I went to an all girls school, and I can always remember being really confused when some girls used to complain about having to do PE. They always used to faff about, saying how they didn’t like how they looked while exercising, or, strangely, that they didn’t like the fact that the hour we got to spend away from all the French or maths involved a little sweat or chlorine. You can’t sit in a chair all day, it’s unbelievably dull, and what’s more bad for your health.
I mean, if you don’t like playing hockey or netball, then I guess it’s a fair enough point. I always dreaded tennis – apparently the aim of the game is not to hit the ball as hard as you can – but when these girls would be talking, I’d always be thinking: ‘but we’re at an all girls school, we’re all the same, and honestly, no one was looking. So what if you were red in the face? Boys don’t care about getting mucky and dirty and coming out of PE smelling – so why should we?’
BUT NOW, there’s loads of stuff going around that’s encouraging women to be proactive, and more accepting of their bodies while they’re doing it. I’m loving it. I’m loving the movement, the adverts, the message, it is fantastic. Can you tell just how enthusiastic I am?
… And it’s a good thing I am so keen, because, as it turns out, it’s now my job.
As a Nike student brand manager I will be recruiting runners from all over the University of Bristol to run their 10k with me on the 21st of June in London’s Victoria Park. 10,000 girls will take part, it is going to be immense.
The run is fully focused on women: they’ve thought about how we run, why we run, and what we like to do when we run. It sounds like a simple concept, but it isn’t. A lot of thought has gone into this, and I’ve yet to come to grips with the fact that I’m now a part of it!
So yep, it’s pretty incredible, but if my job wasn’t exciting enough, and if the talk at their offices wasn’t beyond inspiring, then the launch event they took us to that night was all of the above and more.
It took place in Shoreditch, at Follow the White Rabbit Studios, and it was well and truly the coolest experience of my life.
The whole studio was like a hipster’s dream… kitted out by Nike.
It was filled with famous bloggers and many fun, shiny things. There was champagne, delicious food, goodie bags, and you could even get your hair and makeup done. Not only that, but they had a wicked dj, Spotify was there so you could create your very own playlist, and the Nike branding everywhere was on point.
I had so much fun running about with all the other SBM girls. We got to print our crew tee-shirts and before we parted ways to begin our campaigns, we took a photo together as a group:
So turns out being a Nike student brand manager is pretty awesome. ‘If you have a body, you’re an athlete*’ – join us on the 21.06.15 in London for Nike Women’s 10km. With student discount and cool teeshirts what’s not to love? Get in touch and join crewbristol to be part of the best crew in the South West! @nikewomen #Nike #runseries #10km #SBM #women #run #crewbristol #werunlondon #justdoit
A photo posted by Jordan (@livingoffcaffeineandglitter) on Feb 17, 2015 at 6:58am PST
I’m so excited about this (have I said that yet?), and for the next couple of weeks I’ll be running around Bristol looking for fellow students to get involved – so if you’re reading this and you go to Bristol, or even just live in Bristol then get in touch! Join my crew (crewbristol) and get training!
Now if you’re thinking: ‘I can’t’, ‘I don’t know how’, ‘it’s too far’, then stop. Honestly, don’t be put off by not knowing ‘what to do’, we’ve got you covered, and seriously, don’t get it into your head that the distance is too far, because it’s not!
I’m a water based athlete and once a physio even told me that I wasn’t ‘built for land’. So, if you think you look embarrassing/silly/weird when you run, then I’m telling you I’m worse… I should never leave the pool really, I’m not coordinated enough for land. (I joke… kind of.)
So, now that we’ve covered that you can, definitely, without a doubt do it… Did I mention that there’s even student discount on the entry fee?
The discount is wonderful on its own of course, but with the added excitement of a goodie bag, that you’ll get at the end of the race which is set to have an amazing necklace in it designed by Alex Monroe, the event gets even better. What did I say about the amount of thought gone into this race, ey?
So guys, if you want to run/walk/skip through this 10k with me then get in touch and join crewbristol. It’s going to be great, I swear.