How to Become a Nike Distributor

Nike is an internationally recognized brand, and many retail businesses want to sell its products. If you are interested in selling Nike shoes, clothing or accessories in your brick-and-mortar store, you will have to complete an application process that you can begin online. If you are unable to become an authorized Nike retailer, you may still have the opportunity to sell Nike products online through a third-party affiliate program.

Becoming an Authorized Nike Retailer

Because Nike is a respected brand, it is selective in choosing retail partners. This selectivity is one way that Nike protects its brand’s reputation.

Becoming an authorized Nike retailer involves an application process. According to Nike, the basic qualifications to become a retailer in the United States are as follow:

  • Your business must obtain appropriate local business licensing.
  • You must be operating out of a storefront. This means you must have a public brick-and-mortar store location that customers access from the street.
  • Nike also wants its retail store owners to have a passion for sports. Keep in mind that Nike sells a range of specialized athletic footwear and clothing, so it is critical that you and your staff are able to provide appropriate customer guidance and support. 

Nike itself notes that the company makes its own decisions about authorizing retailers and that meeting the basic requirements and filling out an application form are no guarantee of approval. The company also states that authorization to sell Nike products in your store does not necessarily give you permission to sell those products online. These restrictions may need to be considered in your business development plans.


If you operate a business outside the U.S., Nike's authorized retailer information page instructs you to contact Nike headquarters in your region or country.

Preparing and Completing Your Application

Submitting an application to become an authorized retailer of a Nike's products can be complicated. To avoid disappointment caused by a mistake in completing your application, take the time to read Nike's instructions and prepare the information the company requests.

Nike's Electronic Retailer Application can be found online. The person who fills out this application must be authorized to enter into agreements on behalf of your company. This means the application form should be completed by a company owner of legal designee.

Be prepared to provide proof of your company's registration and licensing through local and state agencies. In addition, you may need to provide proof of your physical address and supply additional information about your store. If you don't have a quick answer to a question that the application asks, do the research you need to come up with a definite, correct answer. Nike states that incomplete applications will not be considered.

Finally, keep in mind that decisions on Nike applications can take up to 60 days. If you are approved as a retailer, you may also have additional waiting time as you get your account formalized and begin the process of selecting and receiving your merchandise.

Other Ways to Sell Nike Products

If you are unable to qualify as a brick-and-mortar retailer for Nike, online affiliate marketing may be an option. Affiliate programs allow you to place links to merchandise on a website that you own and to receive a commission with every sale made through those links. As of late 2019, Nike's affiliate program does not appear to be accepting new applications in the United States.

However, there are many online retailers of Nike products that have active affiliate programs. You may be able to get approved by one or more of these programs so that you can sell through another retailer’s affiliate links.