From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
ike, Inc. (IPA: /ˈnaɪki/ or IPA: /naɪk/) (NYSE: NKE) is a major publicly traded sportswear and equipment supplier based in the United States. The company is headquartered in the Portland metropolitan area of Oregon, near Beaverton. It is the world's leading supplier of athletic shoes, apparel and sports equipment with revenue in excess of $16 billion USD in 2007. As of 2008, it employed over 30,000 people world-wide. Nike and Precision Castparts are the only Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the state of Oregon.
The company was founded in 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports by Bill Bowerman and Philip Knight, and officially became Nike, Inc. in 1978. The company takes its name from Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. Nike markets its products under its own brand as well as Nike Golf, Nike Pro, Nike+, Air Jordan, Nike Skateboarding, Team Starter, and subsidiaries including Cole Haan, Hurley International, Umbro and Converse. Nike also owned Bauer Hockey (later renamed Nike Bauer) between 1995 and 2008. In addition to manufacturing sportswear and equipment, the company operates retail stores under the Niketown name. Nike sponsors many high profile athletes and sports teams around the world, with the highly recognized trademarks of "Just do it" and the Swoosh logo.
1 Origins and history
4.1 Human rights concerns
5 Environmental Record
6 Marketing strategy
6.1.1 Kasky v. Nike
6.1.2 Beatles song
6.1.3 Minor Threat ad
6.1.4 Chinese-themed ad
8 External links
Origins and history
Nike, originally known as Blue Ribbon Sports, was founded by University of Oregon track athlete Phil Knight and his coach Bill Bowerman in January 1964. The company initially operated as a distributor for Japanese shoe maker Onitsuka Tiger, making most sales at track meets out of Knight's car.
The company's profits grew quickly, and in 1966, BRS opened its first retail store, located on Pico Blvd. in Santa Monica, Calif. By 1971, the relationship between BRS and Onitsuka Tiger was nearing an end. BRS prepared to launch its own line of footwear, which would bear the newly designed Swoosh.
The first shoe to carry this design that was sold to the public was a soccer cleat named "Nike", which was released in the summer of 1971. In February 1972, BRS introduced its first line of Nike shoes, with the name Nike derived from the Greek goddess of victory. In 1978, BRS, Inc. officially renamed itself to Nike, Inc. Beginning with Ilie Nastase, the first professional athlete to sign with BRS/Nike, the sponsorship of athletes became a key marketing tool for the rapidly growing company.
The company's first self-designed product was based on Bowerman's "waffle" design in which the sole of the shoe was inspired by the pattern of a waffle iron.
By 1980, Nike had reached a 50% market share in the United States athletic shoe market, and the company went public in December of that year. Its growth was due largely to 'word-of-foot' advertising (to quote a Nike print ad from the late 1970s), rather than television ads. Nike's first national television commercials ran in October of 1982 during the broadcast of the New York Marathon. The ads were created by Portland-based advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy, which had formed several months earlier in April 1982.
Together, Nike and Wieden+Kennedy have created many indelible print and television ads and the agency continues to be Nike's primary today. It was agency co-founder Dan Wieden who coined the now-famous slogan "Just Do It" for a 1988 Nike ad campaign, which was chosen by Advertising Age as one of the top five ad slogans of the 20th Century, and the campaign has been enshrined in the Smithsonian Institution.
Throughout the 1980s, Nike expanded its product line to include many other sports and regions throughout the world.
On 23 October 2007, it was announced that the sports apparel supplier Umbro, known as the manufacturers of the England national football team's kits, had agreed to be bought by Nike in a deal said to be worth £285 million (~$600m).
Bowerman's Waffle Racer
A pair of Nike brand athletic shoes
Nike produces a wide range of sports equipment. Their first products were track running shoes. They currently also make shoes, jerseys, shorts, baselayers etc. for a wide range of sports including track & field, American football, baseball, tennis, Association football, lacrosse, basketball and cricket. The most recent additions to their line are the Nike 6.0 and Nike SB shoes, designed for skateboarding. Nike has recently introduced cricket shoes, called Air Zoom Yorker, designed to be 30% lighter than their competitors'. In 2008, Nike introduced the Air Jordan XX3, a high performance basketball shoe designed with the environment in mind.[Nike positions its products in such a way as to try to appeal to a "youthful....materialistic crowd". It is positioned as a premium performance brand. However, it also engineers shoes for discount stores like Wal-Mart under the Starter brand.
Nike sells a huge assortment of products, including shoes and apparel for sports activities like association football, basketball, running, combat sports, tennis, American football, athletics, golfand cross training for men, women, and children. Nike also sells shoes for outdoor activities such as tennis, golf, skateboarding, association football, baseball, American football, cycling, volleyball, wrestling, cheerleading, aquatic activities, auto racing and other athletic and recreational uses. Nike is well known and popular in Youth culture, Chav Culture and Hip hop culture as they supply urban fashion clothing. Nike recently teamed up with Apple Inc. to produce the Nike+ product which monitors a runner's performance via a radio device in the shoe which links to the iPod nano. While the product generates useful statistics, it has been criticized by researchers who were able to identify users' RFID devices from 60 feet away using small, concealable intelligence motes in a wireless sensor network.
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Nike's world headquarters are surrounded by the city of Beaverton, Oregon but are technically within unincorporated Washington County.
From Nike's perspective, the company, one of only two Fortune 500 employers still headquartered in the state of Oregon (Precision Castparts is the other), has such a large payroll in the area that it should not be forced to be annexed into Beaverton without its consent. Nike prefers to work with county government as it develops and expands its headquarters. Annexation would cost the company $700,000 per year in increased taxes for services it already receives from the county and various special-purpose districts. Intel, another large employer in the state, routinely receives special tax breaks on various capital investments it makes in the county.
From Beaverton's perspective, the company's expectation for special treatment is counter to the city's desire to have zoning and other laws apply equally to all businesses, big and small. A nearby Costco store, one of that company's earliest, was annexed into Beaverton years ago without incident, and Beaverton's focus on additional annexation during the 21st century reflects a desire to streamline both city and county government by having metropolitan-area services handled by cities instead of counties.
The Oregonian dates the bad blood between the two back to the Nike purchase of 74 acres (0.3 km²) of nearby Beaverton land which soon fronted the MAX Blue Line. When Nike proposed expanding their headquarters in that direction, Beaverton at first wanted them to build housing near the MAX station and criss-cross the property with two public roads, expectations defined by the zoning already in place when Nike bought the land. Beaverton's request was mostly consistent with Metro's transit-oriented development plans for the region. After a year, which included a threat by Nike to move 5,000 jobs out of the state, Beaverton backed down from the requirement for housing, but the lack of accommodation was something that Nike did not forget.
The annexation standoff soon led Beaverton to attempt a forcible annexation. That led to a lawsuit by Nike, and lobbying by the company that ultimately ended in Oregon Senate Bill 887 of 2005. Under that bill's terms, Beaverton is specifically barred from forcibly annexing the land that Nike and Columbia Sportswear occupy in unincorporated Washington County for 35 years, while Electro Scientific Industries and Tektronix get that same protection for 30 years.
Nike has more than 700 shops around the world and offices located in 45 countries outside the United States. Most of the factories are located in Asia, including Indonesia, China, Taiwan, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan, Philippines,and Malaysia. Nike is hesitant to disclose information about the contract companies it works with. However, due to harsh criticism from some organizations like Barbie.com, Nike declared that beginning in 2009 they will begin to provide minimum wages to their workers and full health insurance for every employee that is employed under the Nike Company.
Human rights concerns
Nike has been criticized for contracting with factories in countries such as China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Mexico. Vietnam Labour Watch, an activist group, has documented that factories contracted by Nike have violated minimum wage and overtime laws in