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A Brief History Of Nike, Inc.

2272 words - 9 pages

Nike, Inc. In Perspective
In order to understand Nike’s success one needs a brief history of the company. Two entrepreneur spirited men, Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, established Nike, Inc. They met in 1950, where Bowerman was a track and field coach for the University of Oregon, and continually sought ways to “give his athletes a more competitive advantage.” There he met Knight while he attended the University of Oregon. Knight however obtained an MBA in finance later at Stanford. Knight persuaded the Onitsuka Co. in Japan, the manufacturer of Tiger shoes to make him a distributor of Tiger shoes in the United States. Knight sent Bowerman several pairs out of his first shipment in the hope Bowerman would buy some, instead, Bowerman offered to make Knight his partner and provided him with his footwear design ideas. (Nike, Inc. History)
The two entrepreneurs formed Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964, and then in 1965 they hired Jeff Johnson to manage the company’s operations. Johnson proved to be an invaluable team member. Johnson was very proactive with his role managing Blue Ribbon Sports. He produced “brochures, print ads, shot photographs for the company’s catalogues. He established a mail- order system, opened the first Blue Ribbon Sports retail store, and managed shipping/receiving.” (Nike, Inc. History) Johnson was also responsible for some of the earlier designs of Nike shoes, and invented the name Nike in 1971. While the relationship with Onitsuka was ending, they decided to manufacture their own brand of athletic shoes. Nikes brand mark the “Swoosh” was created for them in 1975 by a Portland State University student, Carolyn Davidson. Their “new line of Nike footwear debuted in 1972 in time for the U.S. Track & Field, held in Eugene, OR.” (Nike, Inc. History)
In the 1980’s Nike went through some transitions. Some of the older employees left, and Nike completed its IPO and became a publicly traded company. Phil Knight stepped down as president, and Nike experienced a slip as an industry leader after miscalculating the aerobics boom. However, it was a short-lived slip as Nike quickly introduced a new signature shoe for the NBA, and debuted them with rookie, Michael Jordan. Through the remaining decade, Nikes momentum grew, the slogan’s “Just do it” and “Bo Knows” form the athlete Bo Jacksons Nike ads, and “by the end of the decade Nike regained its position as the industry leader.” “Nike has never relinquished that position again.” (Nike, Inc. History)
Nike’s two mission statements clearly define their goals, and the history of making Nike a leader is reflected in them. Nikes main mission statement is, “To bring inspiration and innovation* to every athlete in the world.” (Asterisk, represents a quote from Bill Bowerman) The second mission statement is what their aim is toward consumers, “To represent the highest service standard within and beyond our industry, building loyal consumer relationships around the world.” (Nike, Inc....

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