The departure makes Nike the latest big-name Western brand to pull out of Russia amid an unprecedented package of sanctions against the country. The symbolic withdrawal follows that of fellow American giants McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Google. Major UK names to leave include retailer Marks and Spencer as well as BP, the oil major, which had deep ties with Russia.
The Reuters news agency first reported Nike’s decision, citing an internal e-mail announcement at the company. Nike, which makes shirts for the England national side and Tottenham Hotspur, announced the end of a franchise agreement with Russian firm Inventive Retail Group in May. That decision meant many Nike-branded shops across the country were already closed. The outlets run by other independent partners of the company will now also shut up shop permanently.
One of Nike’s most popular clubs -- Chelsea F.C -- was sold to US investors Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital by its previous owner Roman Ambramovich in a £4.5bn deal after he was targeted by sanctions.
Nike’s full departure from the Russian market comes as another emblematic moment as the most famous names in Western capitalism turn their backs on the Putin regime, ending decades of economic integration, with big-name football brands among the most notable departures from the country’s high streets and shopping malls.