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The history and Overview of Nike
Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight were the two men behind the foundation of Nike. Bowerman was a renowned coach in the field and track and was always looking for ways of making his athletes outshine the rest. He tried several training methods and even came up with innovations of track and field shoes but the top manufactures of footwear during this time did not take his innovations seriously.
Phil Knight was one of the students and an athlete at the University of Oregon where Bowerman was a coach. When he completed his studies, Phil Knight decided to become a distributor of footwear for Onitsuka Company Japan. He sent several pairs of his first order to Bowerman with an intention of selling them to him. Bowerman instead offered to become his partner in distribution. The two then decided to be partners and came up with Blue Ribbon Sports as the name of their enterprise.
They obtained their first order comprising of three hundred pairs of sport shoes. Bowerman then decided to make modifications to the shoes and came up with better and lighter ones. He also recommended the shoes to his athletes to test the suitability of his modifications. The two partners had full-time jobs and as such, they needed a full-time manager for their business. They decided to employ Jeff Johnson as the manager of the enterprise. Jefferson came up with strategies for marketing their products by printing brochures, catalogs, and adverts. He also came up with new designs for various shoes and in 1971 and named the brand Nike (Nike Inc., n.d., par. 7).
This was the time they started designing and manufacturing their own products. Carolyne Davidson, one of the students at the university, developed its first original brand. Their first year of distribution was 1972 when they came up with several innovations of footwear that proved to be much lighter. Then they chose Steve Prefontaine, who was a student at the University of Oregon and a very talented runner, to endorse their products. Steve Prefontaine advertised their shoes by wearing and recommending them to various athletes even after he graduated from the university.
By the end of 1980, Nike was already operating as a full-fledge public company. Nike slipped in the mid-eighties and later came up with custom-made shoes for Michael Jordan. Several other innovations followed. From then on, Nike went on to expand and reach the global market with continuous innovations and high-class products (Nike Inc., n.d., par. 25).
Nike has various divisions in its product lines. They are Converse Incorporated, Hurley International, Jordan Brand, and Nike Golf. The base of Converse Incorporated is in North Andover, Massachusetts and is involved in a variety of women and men footwear and other apparel. Hurley International has its headquarters in Costa Messa, California and mainly deals in apparel used in skateboarding and surfing, as well as lifestyle apparel for the youth. Michael Jordan inspires and uses the Jordan Brand that consists of classic footwear. It has a large variety of footwear and apparel both for lifestyle and performance (Nike Inc., n.d., par. 16).
The senior management
Mark Parker is the most senior manager of Nike. He has been the president since 2006 and has helped in the general expansion of the brand and the company’s portfolio in its worldwide business. The Chief Human Resource Officer is David Arye who has been responsible for search of talents, nurturing, inspiring, retaining and planning the infrastructure for all the employees of Nike throughout the world. The Chief Financial Officer is Don Blair; he is behind the strategies that Nike uses to ensure its profitability and business growth. Trevor Edwards is the president of the Nike brand. He leads and manages the various operations of Nike Brand worldwide. The president of Product and Merchandising is Jeanne Jackson and she has been leading in setting up strategies for developing apparel, footwear and equipment as well as marketing of Nike products.
Adidas, Reebok, and Puma are some of the top competitors of Nike. Adidas has a large presence throughout the world and has sponsors, influential teams, sportsmen and sporting events. It has good strategies for marketing and innovation that has enabled their growth. Puma, on the other hand, is in partnerships with influential companies like Ferrari and BMW. It manufactures shoes and suits for racing by drivers in NASCAR and Formula 1. Puma was previously an official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup. It has a very competitive team leading research, development and marketing of its products (Top 10 Sportswear Brands, n.d.).
Nike has stood out and maintained its lead in the global market because of its continuous and high levels of innovation strategies. It also has attractive and high-class advertising and maintains shops almost in all corners of the world. Nike also has partnerships with top sports personalities and teams that help in marketing its products worldwide. It has collaborated with other companies in launching various products and this has made it to become quite popular.
Nike Inc. (n.d.). Our Portfolio of brands. Web.
Top 10 Sportswear Brands of the World 2012. (n.d.). Web.