This year college students are given an opportunity to be more than just sneakerheads by helping one of the largest consumer brands in the world rethink their digital experience.
Nike and Adobe team up for the software company's annual competition, the Adobe Analytics Challenge, which gives students access to analytical tools used by Fortune 500 companies and government agencies to redefine the customer journey for the sneaker giant .
“In today's world, data is useful not only for data scientists, but also for any role that touches the customer experience. The Adobe Analytics Challenge is a great way to introduce students to a variety of analytical tools that can be used to solve real-world problems, "said Emily White, vice president of corporate data and analytics at Nike, in a statement. "We are excited to see how the next generation of future leaders will bring data to life."
This year's event will be virtual and will be presented live on AdobeAnalyticsChallenge.com on November 17 starting at 12:00 PM ET.
Finalists, selected from thousands of applicants, include teams from the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, the Fashion Institute of Technology, the University of Utah, the National University of Singapore, and the Indian Institute of Technology Dhanbad. Students compete for the highest honor and $ 60,000 in cash and prizes. Members of these teams represent different fields of study such as marketing, human resources and finance and are either undergraduate or graduate students.
This is the first year colleges from outside the US have been invited to participate, Adobe said, which is reasonable given the global reach of the Nike brand.
As of 2005, the Adobe Analytics Challenge has been the only college competition where students work with real data – in this case, Nike's – to solve a real business problem. This year's teams will be tasked with the entire Nike consumer journey, spanning a variety of customer personalities or categories including yoga, running, and tennis, to see how to create a custom digital experience that turns visitors into members. During this process, competitors analyze everything from web traffic and marketing segments to customer trips to touchpoints like apps and e-commerce.
For students, the competition is particularly tempting given the multitude of Nike apps like Nike Training Club and SNKRS. But it's not just students who benefit from this: According to a spokesman for Adobe, companies that Adobe has worked with over the past few years have said that they can use the ideas of the students.
“This is especially true of 'handover' (e.g. the experience people have when switching from one channel to another, or from one area of the website to another). That forces them to proceed digitally differently, “the spokesman told Adweek.
Almost all previous brands announce on the final day of the finals that they can get away with ideas that the brands will implement right away – or at least plan to implement them, according to the software company.
Adobe itself gives the competition “better insight into the underlying vulnerabilities that all businesses face. The students bring a new perspective on what resonates with them and what works well, ”said the spokesman. "Because we support brands in many different industries, we can better meet these requirements."