Nike Company Background
About Nike Inc.
Nike, Inc. /ˈnaɪkiː/ is an American multinational corporation that is engaged in the design, development and worldwide marketing and selling of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories and services. The company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, in the Portland metropolitan area, and is one of only two Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Oregon. It is one of the world’s largest suppliers of athletic shoes and apparel and a major manufacturer of sports equipment, with revenue in excess of US$24.1 billion in its fiscal year 2012 (ending May 31, 2012). As of 2012, it employed more than 44,000 people worldwide.
The brand alone is valued at $10.7 billion, making it the most valuable brand among sports businesses. The company was founded on January 25, 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, and officially became Nike, Inc. on May 30, 1978. The company takes its name from Nike (Greek Νίκη, pronounced [nǐːkɛː]), the Greek goddess of victory. Nike markets its products under its own brand, as well as Nike Golf, Nike Pro, Nike+, Air Jordan, Nike Skateboarding, and subsidiaries including Hurley International and Converse.
Nike also owned Bauer Hockey (later renamed Nike Bauer) between 1995 and 2008, and previously owned Cole Haan and Umbro. In addition to manufacturing sportswear and equipment, the company operates retail stores under the Niketown name. Nike sponsors many high-profile athletes and sports teams around the world, with the highly recognized trademarks of “Just Do It” and the Swoosh logo. (source : Wikipedia.org)
Origins and History
Nike, originally known as Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS), was founded by University of Oregon track athlete Philip Knight and his coach Bill Bowerman in January 1964. The company initially operated as a distributor for Japanese shoe maker Onitsuka Tiger (now ASICS), making most sales at track meets out of Knight’s automobile. According to Otis Davis, a student athlete whom Bowerman coached at the University of Oregon, who later went on to win two gold medals at the 1960 Summer Olympics, Bowerman made the first pair of Nike shoes for him, contradicting a claim that they were made for Phil Knight. Says Davis, “I told Tom Brokaw that I was the first. I don’t care what all the billionaires say.
Bill Bowerman made the first pair of shoes for me. People don’t believe me. In fact, I didn’t like the way they felt on my feet. There was no support and they were too tight. But I saw Bowerman make them from the waffle iron, and they were mine.” In 1964, in its first year in business, BRS sold 1,300 pairs of Japanese running shoes grossing $8,000. By 1965 the fledgling company had acquired a full-time employee and sales had reached $20,000. In 1966, BRS opened its first retail store, located at 3107 Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica, California next to a beauty salon, so its employees no longer needed to sell inventory from the back of their cars.
In 1967, due to rapidly increasing sales, BRS expanded retail and distribution operations on the East Coast, in Wellesley, Massachusetts. By 1971, the relationship between BRS and Onitsuka Tiger was nearing an end. BRS prepared to launch its own line of footwear, which would bear the Swoosh newly designed by Carolyn Davidson. The Swoosh was first used by Nike on June 18, 1971, and was registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on January 22, 1974. In 1976, the company hired John Brown and Partners, based in Seattle, as its first advertising agency.
The following year, the agency created the first “brand ad” for Nike, called “There is no finish line,” in which no Nike product was shown. By 1980, Nike had attained a 50% market share in the U.S. athletic shoe market, and the company went public in December of that year. Together, Nike and Wieden+Kennedy have created many print and television advertisements, and Wieden+Kennedy remains Nike’s primary ad agency. It was agency co-founder Dan Wieden who coined the now-famous slogan “Just Do It” for a 1988 Nike ad campaign, which was chosen by Advertising Age as one of the top five ad slogans of the 20th century and enshrined in the Smithsonian Institution.
Walt Stack was featured in Nike’s first “Just Do It” advertisement, which debuted on July 1, 1988.Wieden credits the inspiration for the slogan to “Let’s do it,” the last words spoken by Gary Gilmore before he was executed. Throughout the 1980s, Nike expanded its product line to encompass many sports and regions throughout the world In 1990, Nike moved into its eight-building World Headquarters campus in Beaverton, Oregon. (source : Wikipedia.org)
Nike has acquired several apparel and footwear companies over the course of its history, some of which have since been sold. Its first acquisition was the upscale footwear company Cole Haan in 1988, followed by the purchase of Bauer Hockey in 1994. In 2002, Nike bought surf apparel company Hurley International from founder Bob Hurley In 2003, Nike paid US$309 million to acquire Converse, makers of the Chuck Taylor All-Stars line of sneakers.
The company acquired Starter in 2004 and Umbro, known as the manufacturers of the England national football team’s kit, in 2008. In order to refocus on its core business lines, Nike began divesting of some of its subsidiaries in the 2000s. It sold Starter in 2007 and Bauer Hockey in 2008. The company sold Umbro in 2012, and Cole Haan in 2013 as of 2013, Nike owns two key subsidiaries: Converse Inc. and Hurley International. (source : Wikipedia.org)
Nike produces a wide range of sports equipment. Their first products were track running shoes. They currently also make shoes, jerseys, shorts, baselayers, etc. for a wide range of sports, including track and field, baseball, ice hockey, tennis, association football (soccer),lacrosse, basketball, and cricket. Nike Air Max is a line of shoes first released by Nike, Inc. in 1987. The most recent additions to their line are the Nike 6.0, Nike NYX, and Nike SB shoes, designed for skateboarding. Nike has recently introduced cricket shoes called Air Zoom Yorker, designed to be 30% lighter than their competitors’.
In 2008, Nike introduced the Air Jordan XX3, a high-performance basketball shoe designed with the environment in mind. Nike sells an assortment of products, including shoes and apparel for sports activities like association football, basketball, running,combat sports, tennis, American football, athletics, golf, and cross training for men, women, and children. Nike also sells shoes for outdoor activities such as tennis, golf, skateboarding, association football, baseball, American football, cycling, volleyball, wrestling, cheerleading, aquatic activities, auto racing, and other athletic and recreational uses. Nike is well known and popular in youth culture, chav culture and hip hop culture for their supplying of urban fashion clothing. Nike recently teamed up with Apple Inc. to produce the Nike+ product that monitors a runner’s performance via a radio device in the shoe that links to the iPod nano.
While the product generates useful statistics, it has been criticized by researchers who were able to identify users’ RFID devices from 60 feet (18 m) away using small, concealable intelligence motesin a wireless sensor network. In 2004, Nike launched the SPARQ Training Program/Division. Some of Nike’s newest shoes contain Flywire and Lunarlite Foam to reduce weight. On July 15, 2009, the Nike+ Sports Band was released in stores. The product records distance run and calories expended, keeps time, and also gives runners new programs online they could try running.
The 2010 Nike Pro Combat jersey collection were worn by teams from the following universities: Miami, Alabama, Boise State University, Florida, Ohio State, Oregon State University, Texas Christian University, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, and Pittsburgh. Teams will wear these jerseys in key matchups as well as any time the athletic department deems it necessary. (source : Wikipedia.org)
Location & Manufacturing
Nike has contracted with more than 700 shops around the world and has offices located in 45 countries outside the United States. Most of the factories are located in Asia, including Indonesia, China, Taiwan, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan, Philippines, and Malaysia. Nike is hesitant to disclose information about the contract companies it works with. However, due to harsh criticism from some organizations like CorpWatch, Nike has disclosed information about its contract factories in its Corporate Governance Report.