Looking Ahead To The Future Nike’s Stance On People, Play & Planet Are More Clear Than Ever Before

For nearly 50 years, Nike has been at the forefront of using its platform to encourage and uplift athletes of all shapes, sizes, and colors. As the mission continues, the brand continues to look toward its impact when it comes to three important pillars: people, play, and planet. 

“We talk about how we bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world, and if you ever see that written, you know that athlete has the asterisk by it because if you have a body, you’re an athlete,” said Vanessa Garcia-Brito, VP of North America Communications at Nike. “What’s amazing about that, for someone like me, is that I really think about how I show up to work and how I show up in my life, as an athlete. So I think of life as a sport, really, and I train for it by showing up to my job and with my team just like an athlete would. I think I take in all of the different parts around mental wellness, physical activity, and spirituality and connect all three pieces in the arch of overall wellness.”

For her, the values of Nike also sync up with some of her own personal approaches to life, especially given the state of the world over the past two years. 

Progress Worth Noting

In its latest FY21 Impact Report, which represents 20 years of best-in-class reporting, Nike, Inc. upholds its mission to not only step up for the community but for the team of people who represent the company too.


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“What’s really been brought to the forefront in the last two years is our ‘just do it,’ call to action, because we are a brand of action,” Garcia-Brito continued. “So there’s been the question of how else can we continue to bring that change and that hope and change to the world. Some of it you see in our targets and our goals for increasing representation, increasing both women leadership as well as our representation across all of our communities, especially our Black and LatinX communities, as well as the work that we’ve done to do so internally and externally.”

People, Planet & Play

As the world continues to evolve, so does a brand like Nike that has been an active part of the community, ensuring that representation exists at all levels – both inside and outside of the organization. 

The pillars of people, planet, and play are the current driving force at Nike. It is this that plays a huge role in pushing the company forward and reiterates the brand’s commitment to creating more opportunities to learn and grow.

“For people, we’re thinking end to end, whether that’s from our employees and our athletes, or even all the way through to our consumers. As we think about the future, we’re also keeping in mind the future generations, so that’s our people piece of it,” Garcia-Brito shared. “If we’re constantly thinking about sport and we want to protect the future of sport, we have to protect the future of the planet, and lastly play is what you get to before you actually get to the sport aspect of it. Play is a fundamental piece of that because it’s the entryway for kids and then you bring that into adulthood. We also believe that if you address equity and play earlier in life, then you’re probably going to create a more equitable society which is what we’re really committed to.”

The Future

Anyone with a body is an athlete at Nike and as the future of sports continues according to the company’s brand values, it is imperative that young girls know that they have a place in that time to come.

“Girls are facing serious complex barriers from a cultural, economic, and social standpoint and we’re trying to break those down so a couple of things that we’re doing is really focusing on how we bring inclusive play to her,” Garcia-Brito reflected. “You have to see her, to be her, and oftentimes for girls, that means seeing coaches that are from the communities that they’re in, who can be role models for them that they can relate to. We’re investing in increasing the availability of those coaches, both helping to bring more women into coaching, and also making available digital tools for anybody who is a caring adult that wants to be a coach in a young girl’s life. We know that it’s really important for them to feel confident and supported while they play even when it comes down to products because you have got to feel good in what you’re wearing. Even something as simple as the way we design our sports bras makes a difference.”

Click here to learn more about Nike Inc.’s FY21 Impact Report.

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