Nike poaches Vitra chief for global post

Sportswear company Nike has appointed the global marketing director of European furniture firm Vitra International, Ben Watson, to the newly created role of global apparel brand creative director.

Watson will be responsible for developing and co-ordinating a “global creative vision” for Nike’s global apparel image, and work alongside marketing, advertising and retail teams. In his role, he will report to Nike global apparel vice-president Mindy Grossman.

Watson started at Vitra International in 1991 as the marketing director for its US division, and went on to become the vice-president of sales and marketing for that division. Before Vitra, Watson worked at Knoll International, another furniture company.

Nike recently announced plans to launch a maternity range next year. The launch will be a first for the sportswear brand, which aims to extend its range to attract expectant mums (MW September 13).

The maternity line, targeting the “fitness focused mum-to-be” will be a joint venture with US-based designer Liz Lang and will be called Liz Lang-Nike.

Last week, the company reported its first quarter results and posted a drop in its net income for the quarter to $199.2m (£135.5m) from $210.2 (£142m) last year for the same period. Revenue in the period ending August 31 fell 0.9 per cent to $2.61bn (£1.77bn).

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