Nike

A popular supplier of sporting apparel and goods, Nike has the distinction of being one of the largest manufacturers in its sector. With annual revenues exceeding $19 billion, the Oregon based company has come a long way from its humble origins. Today, just the Swoosh is widely seen through the company’s multimillion dollar advertising efforts on television and at major athletic events.

To understand what the drives the company’s workforce, it is imperative to look at the history of the establishment and learn about the path taken by its industrious founders that led Nike’s roaring success in the present day.

The Nike Way

The brainchild of Bill Bowerman, a University of Oregon Track Coach and his athlete Phillip Knight, the company was originally named Blue Ribbon Sports. Bowerman stumbled upon the idea of the revolutionary waffle sole after being inspired by the waffle iron in his kitchen. In fact, he used it to create the first models of the outsole that would be well suited for the urethane track.

The newly footed Blue Ribbon Sports primarily worked as a distributor for the Japanese shoemaker Onitsuka Tiger. Knight acted as the perfect salesmen, offering his products from the trunk of his car at athletic meets. However, the association between the American firm and the Japanese shoemaker was short lived. This did not stop the establishment from scaling new heights as Bowerman and Knight got ready to launch their own line of footwear.

Nike grows bigger

By 1978, the company was given a new name “Nike” and was prepped up to conquer national and international markets. A mere two years later, Nike had already managed to capture 50% of the American athletic shoe market. And to say, the company had not spent a dime on Television advertisement at that point.

Nike solely relied on word of foot marketing and the quality of their products to up their sales. However, when they did come out with the company’s first television commercial, consumers all over the country sat up and took notice.

Nike’s distribution strategy wins over the world

Today, the show manufacturer uses a potent combination of marketing strategies which includes sponsoring celebrity athletes, professional and college sports teams, television and print ads and more. In fact, the fruitful association between the advertising firm Wieden Kennedy and Nike earned the company two Emmy awards for their television commercials.

Although Nike has sported its fair share of controversies involving the use of underage labor in their sweat shops in third world countries, this has made little difference to their sales figures. The present day distribution strategy of the company can also be credited for the popularity of Nike’s products across the world. There was a time when the company’s production was based on the hunch of its sales team about the anticipated demand from a retailer. However, today, Nike follows an almost error free computerized strategy that allows them to replenish the inventory of their retailers whenever needed. The company also boasts of its own retail outlets across the world.

Fun facts about Nike

* The name “Nike” was chosen in tribute to the Greek goddess of victory.

*The Swoosh (which it is known as) is not a “tick” mark; it represents the wings of the goddess

* They have manufacturing establishments in 45 countries

* The company hires a mammoth workforce of 28000

* Their products are sold in a whopping 160 countries

* The company introduces almost 50,000 products styles into the market each year.

* Ilie Nastase was the first pro athlete to be sponsored by the company; he was a tennis player.

It is an undeniable fact that everybody acknowledges the mettle of Nike’s flagship product, their shoes, from sports stars to the regular Joe on the street. In fact the name Nike has become synonymous with high quality sports shoes that offer superlative performance. The company offers its products under the brand name Nike as well as Air Jordan, Nike Bauer, Umbro, Skateboarding and Converse etc.

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