Nike is an American multinational corporation that focuses in the design, development, manufacturing, and worldwide marketing and sales of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories, and services. The company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, in the Portland metropolitan area which functions under the leadership and guidance of Mark Parker, since 2006. The company was founded in 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports by Bill Bowerman, a track-and-field coach at the University of Oregon, and his former student Phil Knight who was a middle-distance runner from Portland who was enrolled in the University of Oregon.
After the years spent together they built up a partnership which went beyond their teacher-student relationship to start the athletic footwear distribution company. Knight and Bowerman divided their part of obligation in the partnership where the former took charge of the business end while the latter focused on the production process. The foundation for their business was laid by Knight who journeyed around the world after graduation. When he came to a stop at Kobe, Japan he found a suitable shoe which met his expectation of low cost and quality.
From there he started his business with Onitsuka the owner of Tiger shoes after meeting with him and agreeing to secure the distribution rights in Western United States. The first few pairs took more than a year to be shipped and Knight sent a sample to Bowerman to ask for his opinion. He was surprised by the quick reply and they soon became business partners which started off by importing shoes from Japan and by selling them in United States. The company was initiated with just $1,200 in the bank. The first idea about the shoe came when he saw his wife making waffles for breakfast.
The patterns on the waffle made him see a little spark that would help the athletes to perform better. And the very first Nike shoes were made inside a waffle iron. Inspired by the waffle idea, he thought of adding the patters on sole of the trainers which actually helped to get a good grip on the track. The first retail outlet which started in 1966 grew up to launching the Nike brand shoe which came out in 1972. The company name changed to Nike, in 1978 and gained some fame two years later. The company name Nike was inspired and named after the Greek goddess of speed, strength and Victory and it might not be a surprise that the goddess has done some help for their success since the Nike Company achieved victory globally by marketing the speed and strength which is often involved in sports.
The goddess’s symbol of golden sandals resembles the main product of the company; shoes. The Nike logo was designed in 1971, by Carolyn Davidson. Originally, the logo was called as ‘the srtip’, which later became well known as ‘Swoosh’ which referred to the fibers that were used to manufacture Nike shoes during that time. The Nike ‘swoosh’ logo made its first public appearance on the shoes in the spring of 1972 and, the Nike symbol was printed on the vamp of an athletic shoe. After accomplishing the market the company removed the name from the logo and the mark stands as the only way of identifying the company, but the brand has nonetheless come to a place where everyone all around the world recognizes just by the logo.
The main slogan of Nike “Just Do It” was inspired by serial killer Gary Gilmore’s words “let’s do it”, which he uttered just before he was executed by a firing squad in 1977. Through thick and thin and the amount of hard work Nike accomplished the present status and it proudly celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014. The world’s largest Nike store in London’s Oxford Street cost £10.5 million to build which spans three levels and roughly 42,000 feet of area and was constructed around the theme of a town square.
At present Nike is positioned at 14th the world brand ranking list and carries a brand value of 36.8 billion and is positioned as a premiumbrand, selling well-designed and very expensive quality products. The Nike’s effective Marketing Mix Programme supports the brand positioning in the target market. Its product is considered to be highly effective and comfortable to the athletes. It has dominated United States sports market. Nike Air Technology The latest technology introduced by Nike is the Air Technology which has helped the athletes to perform better with less strain of physical energy.
And this technology has reduced the weight of the shoes and is manufactured in a special way to sharpen the abilities which is most needed for the respective sport activity. The Air Technology is the technical usage of pressurized air compressed inside flexible bags which is done through the blow rubber technology. The final outcome of all the work and efforts has made Nike not just a brand but a different sports culture altogether.