Sports | November 19, 2021 2:24 pm

Nike’s New Mind Sets Program Will Focus on Mental, Not Physical, Health

The "uplifting" new program is a "movement series designed for the mind"

Nike athlete Naomi Osaka has been an advocate for mental health
Nike athlete Naomi Osaka has been an advocate for mental health.
Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty

From all-world tennis player Naomi Osaka to NFL star Calvin Ridley to former NBA Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons, more and more athletes who make a living based on their physical abilities are speaking out about the importance of mental health in pro sports.

In recognition of the increased awareness on focusing on the mental side of sports, a new Nike program isn’t telling athletes to “Just Do It.” Instead, it’s asking: “How are you feeling?”

Dubbed Mind Sets, the “uplifting” new program is a “movement series designed for the mind” that is designed to help Nike Members “move in any way that feels good for their mental well-being.” Meant to help members focus on how they feel, not what they achieve, Mind Sets will deliver “curated and custom movement, expert content, and brand experiences to help people move for their mind” that will change on a daily basis.

“Despite the fact that this topic has become a major conversation around the world, people still struggle to deal with these challenges and feel ill-equipped to support their own mental well-being journeys,” AnalogFolk Amsterdam, the digital creative agency Nike worked with on the initiative, posted on LinkedIn. “In partnership with Nike, we developed the strategy and core concept all the way to program execution. We’ve built a platform to leverage the healing power of movement and shifted the focus from doing to feeling instead. Because movement positively impacts your mental health — and Nike is the expert in movement. This campaign is a conversation. The first exercise is asking yourself this — how are you feeling?”

A year-long program, Mind Sets will roll out globally across the entire Nike ecosystem including the brand’s app and social handles, as well as athlete and influencer channels.

“It usually takes extreme situations to normalize things. Let’s not wait to have burnout to start to consider the topic of mental health,” Nike digital marketing specialist Manon Rossi wrote about Mind Sets on LinkedIn, via Adweek. “What if we start to put mental health back to the place it deserves — right at the center of all conversation? For athletes, for employees, for every human being. Mental health is and should stay at the core of all our concerns. Let’s slow down for a minute, pause and observe. No need to rush, no need to over-perform.”