Sports Management Sports Stories

Win or Lose, It’s all the same for Nike…

NIKE, Inc. which manufactures and market its athletic shoe & apparel products in the United States of America and in more than 100 other countries based in Beaverton, Oregon, USA is the athletic shoe & apparel company that was the subject of last issue’s article.

The Previous Article mentioned this company’s success in its early years between 1964-72 in large part first to Philip Knight’s marketing ability and second to William Bowerman’s ability in product development. That among William Bowerman’s most notable ‘innovations in product development was his 1972 invention of the waffle-like, light weight, traction ‘sole’ that has allowed Nike, Inc. to lead the Global athletic-cum-casual shoe & apparel market.

However, one must remember that although it was the college coach at the University of Oregon, William Bowerman’s whose revolutionary ‘running shoe’ design laid the foundation of Nike, Inc. rapid growth as distributor for Onitsuka Tiger Company to Nike, Inc. in 1978 from its erstwhile name of Blue Ribbon Sports, it was really William Bowerman’s inability to market his original ‘running shoe’ design to various sporting goods companies that led to the tie-up with Philip Knight in 1964.

That Philip Knight’s ability in marketing by which the principal marketing functions at Nike, Inc. preceded the manufacture of the athletic shoe & apparel products Lines involved: market research; and product development, design and testing, ensured that Nike, Inc. always stayed the step ahead of its closest competitor, Adidas.

That battle over sponsorship rights of EPL teams has hot up with Adidas agreeing to pay $1.3 billion over 10 years to Manchester United Football Club, or $130 million per year for the uniform sponsorship deal, beginning with the 2015-16 football season, after Nike, Inc. was paying 37 million USD per year. This enhancement in pay will be to the advantage of Nike, Inc. because it will increase the operating cost of Adidas, and reduce their profit margin in the short-to-medium term, and increase the capital available to Nike to withstand the recession in the global market, especially its Market in China. That the other German shoe & apparel Company PUMA has entered into kit sponsorship deal  with the Arsenal Football Club which has also set the record for 51 million USD per year over 5 years to the Gunners.

That although Nike, Inc. has lost out to the sponsorship rights to some of its front-line competitors in the sponsoring of EPL teams, it has pioneered marketing in sports with celebrity endorsements of its product lines by Individual sportspersons MichaeI Jordan, Bo Jackson, Tiger Woods and Spike Lee, thereby cutting across racial lines to convert Nike into its intended Greek Goddess of Victory.
That Nike, Inc. named after NIKE, the Greek Goddess of Victory., the athletic shoe & apparel company  has continually:

[1] ‘introduced’ new athletic shoe & apparel products;

[2] ‘sought ‘new areas to manufacture and market the new athletic shoe & apparel products; and

[3] ‘developed’ Innovative advertising campaigns to ‘drive’ substantial growth from the post 1980s period – till date which we will explore in the next issues.

Author: Arjun J. Chaudhuri

(Image Source-Google Images)

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