Marketing And History Of The New Air Jordans

2552 words - 10 pages

Air Jordan I-XVIIThe Air Jordan XVII breaks new ground, not in the area of technology, but in the area of price. Can any shoe be worth $200?A Brief History of NikeNIKE, pronounced NI-KEY, is the winged goddess of victory according to Greek mythology. She sat at the side of Zeus, the ruler of the Olympic pantheon, in Olympus. A mystical presence, symbolizing victorious encounters, NIKE presided over history's earliest battlefields. A Greek would say, "When we go to battle and win, we say it is NIKE." Synonymous with honored conquest, NIKE is the twentieth century footwear that lifts the world's greatest athletes to new levels of mastery and achievement. The NIKE 'swoosh' embodies the spirit of the winged goddess who inspired the most courageous and chivalrous warriors at the dawn of civilization.The Nike began as a small distributing outfit located in the trunk of Phil Knight's car. From these rather inauspicious beginnings, Knight's brainchild grew to become the shoe and athletic company that would come to define many aspects of popular culture and myriad varieties of cool.Nike originated from two sources: Bill Bowerman's quest for lighter, more durable racing shoes for his Oregon runners, and Knight's search for a way to make a living without having to give up his love of athletics. Bowerman coached track at the University of Oregon where Phil Knight ran in 1959. Bowerman's desire for better quality running shoes clearly influenced Knight in his search for a marketing strategy. Between them, the seed of the most influential sporting company grew.While getting his MBA at Stanford in the early '60s, Knight took a class with Frank Shallenberger. The semester-long project was to devise a small business, including a marketing plan. Synthesizing Bowerman's attention to quality running shoes and the rapidly increasing opinion that high-quality/low cost products could be produced in Japan and shipped to the U.S. for distribution, Knight found his market niche. Shallenberger thought the idea was interesting, but certainly no business jackpot. Nothing more became of Knight's project.In 1963 Phil Knight traveled to Japan on a world-tour, filled with of young men seeking a way to delay the inevitable call of professional life. Seemingly on a whim, Knight scheduled an interview with a Japanese running shoe manufacturer, Tiger--a subsidiary of the Onitsuka Company. Presenting himself as the representative of an American distributor interested in selling Tiger shoes to American runners, Knight told the businessmen of his interest in their product. Blue Ribbon Sports--the name Knight thought of moments after being asked who he represented--was born. The Tiger executives liked what they heard and Knight placed his first order for Tigers soon thereafter.By 1964, Knight had sold $8,000 worth of Tigers and placed an order for more. Coach Bowerman and Knight worked together, but ended up hiring a full-time salesman, Jeff Johnson. After reaching $1 million in sales,...

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