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Nike: The Power Of Exploitation Essay

2558 words - 10 pages

Nike: The Power of Exploitation



A. Nike Described + Thesis:

Many people can prove that Nike is a company 1
that continues to push the boundaries of design
and performance, promoting freedom and choice,
but these same people leave out the obvious facts
that show how this company exploits third world
countries by using cheap labor.

II. History of Nike Inc.

A. Founders

B. Co-founding business 2

C. Business Success 3

III. Anti-Nike

A. Cheap labor 4

B. Definition of sweatshops 5

C. Locations of sweatshops 6

D. Working conditions 7-8

IV. Nike Defended

A. Ruined reputation 9-11

B. Target of organizational protests 12-13

C. Significant progress 14

V. Conclusion 15


We all know the slogan, "Just Do It," that Nike developed to sell its products. But just do what?

Nike is a company-- young and yet mature--developed and respected by popular athletes both past and present, whose icon remains a "swoosh" printed both large and small on many different forms of apparel. The "swoosh" constitutes a dream of being the best because it is associated with the best. Steve Prefontaine, Michael Jordan, and Tiger Woods are all icons that helped Nike promote its excellence by all three being exceedingly successful in their respective sports ("Our History" ½). Many people can prove that Nike is a company that continues to push the boundaries of design and performance, promoting freedom and choice, but these same people leave out the obvious facts that show how this company exploits third world countries by using cheap labor. It is necessary to raise that awareness so we can be responsible consumers and remember the source of our "swoosh" apparel.

In 1957, the future cofounders of Nike, Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, met at the University of Oregon. In 1962 Knight formed "Blue Ribbon Sports," which gave birth to Nike's forerunner ("Our Chronology" 1/6). By 1964, both men became involved in distributing better shoes through their company. In the first year, the company saw a total of eight thousand dollars in revenue ("Our Chronology" 1/6). Three years later as the company grew Bowerman developed the first lightweight running shoe that became a large selling model. By 1969, "Blue Ribbon Sports" reached $300,000 in revenue ("Our...

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