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Nike Hit Ihe giounfl tunning in 1 &E2. Originally kncrwn as BLe R Litwn Sporls. LUb company focused en providing tifgh-cttialily rutnfng shoes designed especially for alhletes by alhtetes. Founder Philip Knight believed tfiai high tech shoes for iunnefs could be ilfthiiaiclured at compelling prices il imported from abroad. The company's cantmlintetf to ctes igning innovative footwear few serious athletes helped ii buM a cult following among American consumers. By lEtSO. Nike hal beccme the numfcer-one aihlptt sroe company m the United Stales

From the starl, N'te's marketing campaigns featured winning aWleles as spakesceople. The company signed or its iifSt spokesperson, runner Sieve Frefomame.. in 1973. Prcfonuine's Irreverent attitude matched Nike's Spiril-'.';:-;e:ing camps gns featoiing winning athletes made sense Nike sav,1 a "pyramid o1 influence'—il aw that product and brand choices arc influenced by Ihe prelcr-ent^s and behavior of a small percemaye ol top athletes. Using professional aih-letes in Ms ad .ertising campaigns Was bo:h eftoent and elfetiive lor f;

m 1985, Mike signed up then ■ rookie guard Michael Jordan as a spokesper ■ son. Jordan -TO Still an up-and-ccmer, hut he person,¡:ed superior purler' mgnce. Kike's bet paid nil: The A:- Jordan line ol baskefhall sfloes Hew off the shelves, Willi revenues of over SI 00 million In the first year alone. Jordan also he.» I Ijl, '.1 the psychc'ogitsl Image of Hie Nike hmand, Ph I Knight s;ii(f: ~$|:::fts are at she heart ol American culture, so a lot oi emotion at'eady exists around It. Emetiors are always hard to explain, but there's something inspirational abcui watchbtg athtetes push the Iknits ol pc-rforTsnce. Vqu can'i explain much in 60 seconds, but when you show Michael Jordan, you don't nave io."

hi 1963, Kite a"ed its first ads in the 'Just Do It" ad campaign. The S20 million month-long blilz—sutnly encouraging Americans to paftfcijHtB mere actively in sports—featured 12 TV spois m ¿11. Trie campaign challenged a generation ut athletic enthusiasts to chase ine'r goals: H was a natural manifestation ol Nike's attttude Ol self'empowerment through spurts. The Ctittipsipn leatured iilebfites and tjonoe'ittlties. One nonceicbMy ad featured wait Siark. an flO-i-ear-old kxig-distance tunner, rtmning across the Go'den Gale bridge as pal of his morning routine Thi Just Do It" trailer appesrett on flic screen as Ihe sf: rtlcss Slack ran on a chilly morning. Talking to the camera as it zoomed in, and while SHI ruwiing Slack remarked, "People ask me how l keep my teelh from chartering when l s cOkl." Pausing. S&rfi mafler-Of-lacHy replied. 'I toe Iheni in my tocker"

As Kike began expanding overseas lo Europe, it I ou fid mat ils American-stjte ads were seer as loo aggressive. Tne brand image was perceived as too fashion-orienled. Nike realized Itiat it had lo 'authenticate" its brand in Europe the way it Had In America. That meant building cred ulity and relevance in European sports, especially soccer Nike tmtme actively involved as a sponsor ol soccer youth leagues, local clubs, and national learns. Authenticity requred thai consumer the product being used by athletes, especially by atlitetes who win. Ihe big break came n i99<t, when the Brazilian team (the on'y nalwnat learn 1er which Nike had any real sponsorships) won Ihe Wond Cup The victory led Niku lo sign other winning teams, and Py 20DH overseas re^ enues surpassed U.S. revenues for the firs! time Nike a'-so topped $10 bill on mi sales for the first time ¡n thai year as well.

Tuday, Nike dominées ihe athletic footv^nr market fine nf Ihe 10 tOp-sttng basktlbaii shoes, for example, are Nikes.Mike rnlralncesht/tiredsoi Sioes each year for 30 sports—averaging one new six» siy-e every day of Ihe year, Stwosbes atinf;*] çxi everything Irçm wffetwatches golf clubs to Shimming caps.

Discussion Questions

1 What na^i been ihe key success factors for Nme?

2 Where Is Nil« vulnerable? What should it watch out lea?

What teoonimejndavons wouW yvj make to seiiior marketing emecutives going fon'jûr-d? Wlïat siiouid tliey be sure tn rlo witft its marksi ™j?

SQuœbs: Justm Ewers an:: Tim Smart, "A Dis-^ncr &ifl»sriif5 In.' U.S. ftevrs £ ivo-.; fi/port, Jam«r> 2<3.700^. i> I "Cofjwate Media fwcim 01 ihe ïear." Dewey Report January 12, 200i p. 1 "10 Ifop NMl Tradikmat Campaign^,* Mortising Age, Uecemoer 22, 2003 p. 24, Chris Zoah and James WKn " Gr&.^in Didsni thf Con,1 " lb¡sv.aH &jJfflftK ^rWÎJecembef 2003.1- CGi.Sj.

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