Nike Inc.

This essay has a total of 3925 words and 16 pages.

Nike Inc.

The topic that I have chosen to do a research project on is Nike Inc. I chose to do my
research on Nike because I am for one, very much interested in Nike, and secondly I am
very interested in Nike's clothing, shoes, and accessory line.


Basketball players "wanna be like Mike", but shoe companies "wanna be like NIKE." NIKE is
the worlds #1 company and controls more than 40% of the US athletic shoe market. The
company designs and sells shoes for just about every sport, including baseball,
volleyball, cheerleading, and wrestling. NIKE also sells Cole Haan dress and casual shoes
and a line of athletic wear and equipment, such as hockey sticks, skates, and timepieces.
In addition, it operates NIKETOWN shoe and sportswear stores and is opening JORDAN in
store outlets in suburban markets. NIKE sells its product to about 19,000 US accountants,
in about 140 other countries, and online. Chairman, CEO, and co-founder Phil Knight owns.
Nike Co. is very interesting, as well is a popular brand.


Nike, pronounced NI-KEY, is the winged goddess of victory according to Greek mythology.
She sat at the side of Zeus, the ruler of the Olympian pantheon, in Olympia. 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. Among artistic representations of Nike are the
sculpture by Paeonius (c. 424 BC) and the "Nike of Samothrace." Rhodians probably erected
the latter, discovered on Samothrace in 1863 and now in the Louvre Museum, Paris, about
203 BC to commemorate a sea battle. Excavations have shown that the sculpture was placed
alighting on a flagship, which was set in the ground in such a way that it appeared to
float.


If you were to break the word NIKE down, you would get Ni-key. The pronunciation for Nike
is ‘nI-kE. Its function is noun, and its etymology is Greek NiKE. If you defined the
word NIKE, you would find out that it means the Greek goddess of victory.


Another meaning and definition of a word is SWOOSHING. Main entry: Swoosh, function is
noun, and it is an act or instance of swooshing.


The origin of the swoosh dates back as far as 1971. Phil Knight was supplementing his
modest income from Blue Ribbon Sports Inc. by teaching an accountant class at Portland
State University. There he met Carolyn Davidson, a graphic design student, who was working
on a multi-perspective drawing assignment in the hallway. He offered her a couple of bucks
per hour if she would do some design work for his small company.


This all happened because "Representatives from Japan were coming for a presentation and
Phil wanted some charts and graphs to show them" according to Davidson. Apparently this
wasn't the last time Phil had asked Carolyn Davidson to create a design for him and Blue
ribbon Sports. According to Davidson again, "Phil had asked her to work on a shoe stripe
because supposedly Phil needed more inventory control." (In spring of 1992, the first shoe
with the Nike Swoosh was introduced)


There have always been numerous predictions and questions asked about what Nike pays its
people. An average salary for a Nike Spokesman (Tiger woods) is $55,555 dollars per day,
which adds up to 20,277,575 dollars in a one years earned salary. Other salaries of Nike
employees such as an Indonesian factory worker who is making shoes makes $1.25 per day and
an on average of $456.25 per year. Lastly, Nike CEO Phil Knight is worth roughly over $5.8
billion dollars.


Nike ads like any other businesses require interpretation. Some of this reading goes on at
the conscious level, some unconsciously. As opposed to extremists on either side of the
interpretative question, I fall most nearly to the constructivist point of view in that I
view meaning as interplay between text and the reader.


Ads work on a variety of different levels including, but not limited to, sign typology,
paradigmatic meaning, psychological appeals, emotion, roles, values/beliefs, and
knowledge. Again, the impact of an ad comes from the interplay between these various
aspects of make-up and the reader's own notions about him/herself and the world.


Rubber-soled shoes were first mass-marketed as canvas-top "sneakers" by U.S. Rubber, with
its keds® in 1917. But the elevation of athletic shoe manufacture to both a science and a
fashion was due largely due to Phil Knight and Steve Bowerman of Oregon.


In 1958, Phil Knight, a business major a the University of Oregon, and a miler on the
track team, shared with his coach, Bill Bowerman, a dissatisfaction with the clumsiness of
American running shoes. They formed a company in 1964 to market a lighter and more
comfortable shoe designed by Bowerman. In 1968, this company became NIKE, Inc.--- named
for the Greek goddess of Victory. At first, Knight and Bowerman sold their shoes in
person, at track meets across the Western US. Their company thrived through a classic
combination of entrepreneurship and innovation. Bowerman's most memorable technical
breakthrough was the optimal traction of the waffle soles he invented by shaping rubber in
the waffle iron in his kitchen (1972). Other essential innovations were the wedged heel,
the cushioned mid-sole, and nylon uppers. Knight's first great marketing ploy was
announcing that "four of the top seven finishers" in the marathon at the 1972 Olympic
Trials had worn Nike's (the first three runners, in fact, had worn West German Adidas®).
Through the 80s and 90s, NIKE's advertisements helped make it by far the foremost retailer
of athletic shoes world-wide, thanks to the endorsements from superstars like Michael
Jordan, and the catchy slogans like "Just Do It." After dozens of years, patents and
commercials, NIKE and its competitors created an absolute mania for elaborate athletic
shoes, in the US and aboard. Though fashion remains a matter of taste, it is undeniable
that both world-class athletes and even the average aerobics enthusiast owe a debt to the
innovations of Phil knight and Bill Bowerman and to the industry they inspired. Phil
Knight is the founder and CEO of the athletic gear company Nike. Knight and Nike helped
start a sports business and revolution in the 1970's changing old- fashioned tennis shoes
into highly specialized equipment and promoting them as symbols of athletic prowess and
success. Nike's success made Knight one of the America's wealthiest men. In the 1990's he
was the subject of frequent protests over allegedly poor working conditions at Nike
manufacturing plants in Asia. Phil Knight was born on February 24, 1938. He is as well
married. His position in Nike is Chief Executive Officer, President and Chairman, Nike
Inc. His educational background is Business Administration, University of Oregon (1959);
M.B.A., Stanford University (1962). His favorite personal sports are tennis, running, and
golf. A co-founder of Nike and former University of Oregon miler with a personal best
4:10, Phil Knight received an MBA from Stanford University. His master's work provided the
outline for the business that would become Nike, the world's number-one sports fitness
company. His theory? High-quality running shoes could be designed in the United States,
manufactured in Asia, and then sold in America at lower prices than the then-popular West
German-made running shoes.


With a $500 investment matched by his co-founder and former coach Bill Bowerman, Knight
began Blue Ribbon Sports (Nike progenitor) in 1964. Off to an uncertain start, he sold his
shoes out of his back of a station wagon but continued to practice as a C.P.A. and teach
at Portland State, Univ. until 1969.


The Cortez, the first shoe to appear under Nike brand, arrived on the athletic scene in
1972. Since then, Knight has inspired numerous innovations in the business of sports,
including future-based ordering; substantial investment in long-term product research and
development; national media reinforcement of performance and styling ties between product
and athletes, and the creation of a customer- service program supported by a full-time
technical team.


Nike's Potential Growth: Knight wants to see Nike become a truly global sports and fitness
company over the next 5 years. Global thinking, he stresses identities not only potential
markets but types of sports and athletes that deserve Nike support.


A personal statement stated by Knight is "it's now my job to create an atmosphere of peace
in the chaos of business- something I've learned from Asian business style.


Phil Knight is currently the 13th richest man in the world. He is worth approximately 5.8
billion dollars. Phil's 4th quarter dividend earnings for 1997 were 80 million dollars.
Additional bonus given to Knight in 1995 was $787,500. The value of Nike stock owned by
knight was $4.5 billion in 1995. Some of Knights endorsements include Michael Jordan,
Tiger Woods, and the Brazilian soccer phenom Renaldo. In 1992, The Sporting News has
called him "The Most Powerful Man in Sports."


Bill Bowerman is the co-founder of Nike as well. He was born February 9, 1911. He died on
December 24, 1981 in his sleep of his Fossil, Oregon home on the third Saturday of
Christmas Eve. He was 88 years old. Bill was the person who more then anyone else started
the nations jogging craze. He also was the inventor of the waffle sole for running shoes.
In addition, his coaching tenure at the University of Oregon was highlighted by some of
the most successful teams in the nation. He turned the college town of Eugene, Oregon into
the running capital of the world, spread the gospel of jogging and fitness, and along the
way, revolutionized the running shoe.


During his coaching tenure from 1949 to 1972, Bowerman produced four national collegiate
championship teams, plus two more that were runners up. Individually, his interest, his
athletes set 13 world and 22 American records. Among his 23 Olympic athletes was 1960
medallist Otis Davis, who won the 400 and ran the 4 x 400 relay. Besides Davis, his other
top athletes reads like a Who's Who in American distance--Dyrol Burleson, Jim Grelle, Bill
Dellinger, Ken Moore, Wade Bell, and the late Steve Prefontaine (Hall of Fame member),
Steve Savage and Keith Forman. A graduate of Oregon, Bowerman became active with the Nike
Shoe Company after retiring from coaching. He also coached 24 NCAA individual champions,
38 Pacific Coast Conference individual champions, 132 Northern Division individual
champions, 4 NCAA team champions in 1962, 1964, 1965, and 1970, 33 Olympic team
competitors, 64 All-Americans, and coached the 1972 Olympic track and field team. In 16 of
his 24 years, his Oregon track team finished in the top 10 in NCAA championships. He owns
13 consecutive Northern division team championships. His dual-meet record at the U of O
was 114-20, a winning percentage of .843. He served at the helm of the NCAA track and
field coaches association and NCAA track and field rules committee, and was a professor
emeritus at the U of O. Bowerman not only coached the athletes, but also was a tireless
worker and innovator for the sport of track and field. He was instrumental in developing
rubberized asphalt runaways, developed statewide programs for high school athletes, and a
Continues for 8 more pages >>




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