Mobile App Success Story: Nike+ Run Club


For every person in this world, one of the main dreams is getting fit and being healthy. But how can we go on with our plan without letting anything discouraging us? Of course, a mobile app can help us reaching our goal! Today we will talk about Nike+ Run Club created for encouraging users to run even in the most difficult situations. For the moment, we won’t put our running shoes on. Instead, we will analyze it from a marketer’s point of view.

Brilliant Idea

We usually start by telling you who created the app but you already know that. Nike is one of the most popular companies in the world focused on creating sports equipment. Initially, the app was called Nike+ GPS and after that Nike+ Running. Nike team launched the Nike+ app for iOS in 2010 and for Android in 2012. Since then, this product received not only a brand new name but also a lot of features which changed the concept of running entirely. The app is free, allowing users to connect with other people and this motivates them to continue with their running.

How Nike+ Run Club Did It

Remember that we talked about promoting health and fitness apps! And we also discussed Sweat: Kayla Itsines Fitness, an app specially created for women. Now we want to observe the strategies used for everybody with Nike+ Run Club. But enough talk, let’s “just do it”!

Free And Simple

The main reason why people use Nike+ Run Club is that it does what it says. The app allows users to keep track of their efforts and to record their progress. And they can do all that in an easy and intuitive way. The overall experience gives them the feeling that they have a fun running companion. And the fact that the app is free encourages them to use it all the time. You would say that the purpose of the app is to bring more customers for the giant brand not to pay developers’ salaries. And that is true. But nothing stops you to be really creative and to find innovative methods to monetize your app. Forget about those annoying ads and find a strategy which keeps your users engaged and helps you to increase your revenue at the same time.

Personalization And More Personalization

After various major updates, Nike+ Run Club reached a point where it offers everything for everyone. And all these features are adapted for every user in order to offer the best experience while using the app. First of all, coaching plans are focused on runners’ strength points and changed according to their progress. Moreover, a playlist provided by Apple Music and Spotify makes the training process more entertaining. And we didn’t even mention about the chance to choose how to share your achievements and with whom. Localization and weather condition are other factors which will influence the way runners use the app. Users are able to set everything according to their preferences and this is very important for an app which encourages them to keep up with the hard work.


No app is complete without gamification elements. It appears that without being part of this virtual competition, users tend to quit. So, the team behind the app added a lot of features which motivate users and convince them to continue for reaching their goal. A leaderboard tells them how many runners are ahead of them. If they break their personal record, Nike+ Run Club rewards them with badges and other prizes. After that, they can share photos and stickers with their friends. When you get the chance to brag about your results, the race doesn’t sound so difficult, right?

The More, The Merrier

The main plan for this app was to conquer the world and to attract more customers. Now, where can Nike find many enthusiastic users? That’s right, in China! For this reason, the partnership with WeChat for reaching Chinese audience really makes sense. The results received prove it. With over 100K more users and 3K run crews, it seems that taking advantage of China’s most popular social network was a smart move. You can read the story about this strategy in an article published on ThinkWithGoogle which highlights the importance of transforming a procrastination tool into an efficient weapon for runners.

NRC Success Stories

What’s the point with success stories? In our case, we’ve created our Success Stories folder with the purpose of showing you how other app owners managed to reach their goals with their app, how difficult was for them and which were the most efficient methods they applied. The same thing happens with Nike+ Run Club Member Highlight. It’s a category of articles which presents the story behind other runners’ success. Reading about people who struggled with the same challenges motivates users to think positive and to believe that they can do it. In the same place, you will find many useful advices for smart nutrition and training.

Bonus Tip: Allow Users To Communicate, No Matter Your App Category!

It is a known fact that people who communicate with other people are a lot happier. Every feature provided by Nike+ Run Club is built around the same idea. Even the title says that you won’t be alone in this challenge. Athletes will guide you from the start, friends will encourage you while you run and after you finish you will receive trophies and badges for celebrating your success. You can participate in races according to your location and of course, you have the opportunity to share your thoughts with your friends. Follow this example if you want to make your app go viral!

Final Thoughts

It is true that Nike is a giant in sports equipment industry but this doesn’t mean you can’t take some of the techniques used for promoting Nike+ Run Club and to adapt them for your own app. Remember that it’s all about your audience. Sometimes the way you approach your users makes all the difference in the world.


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