As the crisis in Ukraine escalates, a number of sportswear companies have deferred services in Russia. Just this week, Adidas suspended its partnership with the Russian Football Union — meaning it would stop providing both the men’s and women’s national team with official sportswear — while groups like FIFA and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) suspended teams from the country from participating in competitions until further notice.
Nike is now halting sales in Russia through its website and app, a decision that affects people other than Russian athletes. On the brand’s Russian-language website, Nike wrote it “cannot currently guarantee delivery of goods to customers in Russia,” directing customers to physical stores for shopping. Nike has not yet responded to Input’s request for comment.
Failed delivery — The move comes after protesters at Milan Fashion Week urged brands to address the tragedy in Ukraine, which has so far devastated multiple cities — including capital Kyiv — and left more than half a million citizens to flee the country. Yet Nike’s pause on online sales seems to be more of a logistical issue than a political statement: As Russia continues to bombard Ukraine, deliveries to either country aren’t guaranteed. FedEx, UPS, DHL, and other international delivery companies have temporarily suspended shipments to both countries. Shoppers will still be able to buy Nike products throughout its 116 brick-and-mortar stores in Russia, the brand’s website states.
Other mainstream brands have paused business in Russia to censure the country: Visa, Disney, Shell, and Netflix have all suspended services within the area, while media companies like Meta and Twitter have implemented new measures to safeguard Ukrainian users’ information and data. Apple has also paused sales in Russia, stating it was “deeply concerned” about the country’s invasion of Ukraine and that it stands with those “suffering as a result of the violence.” Apple Pay and other services such as Apple Maps have been limited in Russia as a result, further impacting retail within the country.
It’s unclear whether the sanctions will sway Russian President Vladimir Putin, although they’ll certainly take a toll on Russian citizens, many of whom have opposed the war. It may take weeks — or even months — for deliveries and other services to resume within the country.