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The athletic shoe industry is one of the largest markets in the United States
today. This segment operates globally with many competitors. This industry
provides us with T-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, shorts and of course, athletic
footwear. Three major corporations dominate the industry itself: Nike, Adidas,
and Reebok. Nike controls 44% of the entire market, Adidas owns close to
12%, while Reebok maintains about 12% as well. The Nike Corporation was
established in 1981, and in its first year as a public company, it led the industry
and was sold in more than forty countries worldwide. They have remained on
top for the majority of their existence, due to their diverse and ever changing
product line. Nike's largest concentration is on the sneaker market itself. They
sell all kinds of athletic apparel and equipment, from sneakers and warm-up
pants to soccer balls and football pads. Adidas and Reebok also sell more than
just sneakers; all three dominate the industry in footwear as well as apparel.
There are many competitors such as New Balance, Puma, Champion, and Fila.
These companies do not run the market like Nike, Adidas and Reebok, they
own much smaller segments. Due to the fierce competition in the industry, the
only way to pull ahead is with product differentiation. Nike pulled ahead in
1988, with the concept of Nike-Air Cushioning. This sparked the differences
between all companies. The idea of air pockets, air consoles and cushioning
seemed to become the biggest trend in the sneaker market. Later on the
product differentiation became the tool to capitalize on. Rubber grip sneakers
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