What is ‘The Academy’ Nike’s Diverse Supplier Programme?

The Academy is Nike’s Diverse Supplier Programme and Helps Build a Broader Group of Diverse Procurement Partners in their Supply Chain

The Academy was established by the Nike Business Diversity and Inclusion team, and acts as a six-month training programme designed to foster diversity among their suppliers. The course is at no cost to them and brings together diverse suppliers across all functions of Nike’s business. Over the course of the training, it helps them develop their skills in business growth, communication and networking. 

The participants ‘graduate’ The Academy with an extended network and resources to position them for sustained success. It also benefits Nike as it builds a pipeline for qualified, diverse-suppliers that will increase innovation and the introduction of new products, services and solutions to the sportswear giant.

“We created the business diversity and inclusion programme to create opportunities for suppliers from underrepresented communities to compete with Nike's business and increase their chances to win.” says Natasha Gurevich, Nike’s Chief Procurement Officer. 

What kind of diverse suppliers is Nike looking for?

Nike’s approach to growing business is underpinned by the belief that all forms of  diversity can help to boost innovation and foster creativity. Their strategy with diverse suppliers and their assistance to them, means that leveraging different perspectives, experiences and backgrounds can generate exciting new ideas and make Nike’s value chain stronger.

All parts of the Nike business structure has specific needs and requirements that need to be met, so the company strategy is to look for a diverse range of procurement partners and suppliers.  This can vary from marketing agencies and general contractors to professionals providing technology support, who can collaborate to provide innovative, competitively priced goods and services, foster community and economic development and enhance Nike’s ability to deliver shareholder value.

Which diverse suppliers does Nike work with?

  • Woman: Nike recognises women-owned businesses globally, in partnership with WeConnect International and WBENC.
  • Minority: In the U.S.: someone who is at least 25% Asian, Black, Hispanic or Native American. Globally, Nike recognises ethnic minorities as defined through NMSDC’s affiliate organisations.
  • Disability: Nike recognises disability-owned businesses globally, in partnership with Disability:In.
  • LGBTQIA+: Nike recognises LGBTQIA+-owned businesses in the U.S. and in select other countries, in partnership with NGLCC.
  • Veteran: Nike recognises veteran-owned businesses in the U.S. and Canada, in partnership with NVBDC.
  • Nike also partners with local diversity accreditation councils and chambers of commerce to help expand the reach of our supplier network.

How do diverse suppliers become part of Nike’s procurement strategy?

Suitable companies have to register with Nike’s Business Diversity & Inclusion Portal, which is their supplier portal,  to help increase its visibility for potential opportunities to do business with the company. Businesses are then asked for a level of company detail  based on corporate compliance requirements for the goods and/or services their can supply to Nike. Nike will then reach out to businesses when suitable opportunities arise that match the supplier’s profile and offering.

Find out more about other award winning diverse procurement strategies.


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