Do you know that Nike is the most loved and admired sports brand globally? Are you aware of the fact that comparatively, it has the most expensive marketing carried out campaigns? Why do we see so many sports celebrities feature themselves proudly for using this brand? This article will cover an overview of this brand, its history, its marketing strategy of the past, present, and, the future. This article will also demonstrate the portfolio of the Nike brand, its strategy to position itself as a market leader and, also the strategies for overcoming the crisis faced by Nike. It’s not the numbers that represent the strength of this brand, but its the goodwill that the brand has developed over the years which is the core factor towards its success.
HISTORY OF NIKE
Nike, Inc., was formerly (1964–78) known as Blue Ribbon Sports. It is an American sportswear company headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon. It was founded by Bill Bowerman and his former student Phil Knight in 1964. In 1966, both of them started their first retail shop and in 1972, they launched Nike brand shoes. In 1978, the company was again titled as Nike, Inc. It became a Public company 2 years later. It has retail outlets and distributors in more than 172 countries. Its logo called the”swoosh” has global recognition which many feel proud to become a part of.
EVOLUTION OF NIKE
In the late 1980s, Nike began to expand its brand identity. It diversified and expanded itself through numerous acquisitions. The list includes the shoe companies Cole Haan (1988; sold in 2012) and Converse, Inc. (2003), the sports-equipment producer Canstar Sports, Inc. (1994; renamed as Bauer later and sold in 2008). It also acquired Umbro (2008; sold in 2012) the athletic and equipment company. The company founded Nike ACG (“all-conditions gear”) in 1996. It is used for marketing products like mountain biking and snowboarding. In the early 21st century Nike also started to sell portable heart-rate monitors and high-altitude wrist compasses, categorized as selling sports-technology accessories.
MARKETING STRATEGY OF NIKE
Nike promotes its brand mostly by using sports celebrities in its advertising campaigns. It also uses professional and academic teams for this purpose. The company is the sponsor of many famous sports leagues. Leagues like NBA, Spanish premier league(Barcelona using Nike sponsored shirts), cricket events like ICC, and many famous domestic leagues and are some of the examples. It has also sponsored many PGA tours and is continuing to sponsor them. The company is approximately spending more than $3 Billion on marketing campaigns.
The celebrities featured in brand’s advertising campaigns both in the past and present include:
MARKETING MIX OF NIKE
A company’s marketing mix refers to the strategies and tactics applied to execute the marketing plan, with focus on products, place, promotion, and price (the 4Ps). These 4 P’s are discussed below:
It produces athletic products that are famous globally. These include:
It makes premium products for its customers. These products are of high quality and strong demand around the world. The company also carries out extensive research and development throughout its business activities.
It charges high price for its products.
The brand sells its products through its retail outlets that are present globally. It is also using its online store to sell its products. The brand has one of the most prominent retail outlets in prime locations of Asia, Europe, Africa, America, and Australia.
The company uses personal selling, advertising, direct marketing, public relations, sales promotions for carrying out its promotion campaigns.
The company before carrying out these campaigns uses SWOT analysis to make its products successful. SWOT analysis of Nike includes:
Strong brand image
Extensive global production and distribution network
The company has spread its distribution newtwork all over the world with exceptional planning. It has deployed one of the most advanced technolgies for its production and distribution process.
Impressive innovation strategies
The company has a stron vision to offer unique products in the near future. It has on a continous basis introduced most modern sports products for its customers and has made significant improvements in its current range of products.
The company has faced certain labor ligitation issues. It also has a very limited presence in developing economies of the world due to its premium pricing strategy.
It can launch into developing markets by doing a proper segmentation strategy. By overcome labor issues, it can generate more revenues in the future.
The brand is facing tough competition from many other sports brands like Adidas, Puma, etc. It is also facing the threat of new laws in many developed economies of the world due to political issues and trade wars between them. COVID-19 has also transformed the way customers will shop in the near future.
FACTS AND FIGURES ABOUT THE COMPANY
Brand identity : Just do it
Headquarters : Beaverton, Oregon
Subsidiaries : Converse, Nike Flight, Nike Vision, Nike Cortez
Revenue : $39.1 Billion as for Fiscal Year Ended 2019
Employees: More than 73000
CEO: John Donahoe
Air Force 1
FUTURE VISION OF THE BRAND
Companies need to make strategies to implement modern technologies. They also need to come up with ideas that show their commitment to the future needs of the customers and how their creativity will involve many, if not all of them. Nike also has extended its approach to achieving this goal and has come up with amazing products that attract customers’ interest at first sight.
For example, shoe product Air max 90 has been developed in such a way that as per company peers and seniors, it has refocused and reimagined the way shoe quality should be delivered to customers. Ambitious to say, citing company sources, the company terms it as a reimagined 2090 model of shoe usage. But, it shows how the company is refocusing and has aimed for future product developments and changing consumer behaviors. The company by using such kind of strategy is slowly but surely inviting its potential customers not to use it but “JUST DO IT”.
We all love to use brands. Companies around the world spend billions of bucks for preserving and growing their brand identity. Nike has a global footprint and it has made a great effort to achieve the same for many years. When we review its evolution over the years, the journey is aspiring. Marketing strategy is aggressive. The company assures customer loyalty to be its core value and delivers every product which is of high quality. The company through its product quality and brand effectiveness makes customers feel that it is not the usage but the passion it resonates with customers and encourage them to fulfill its brand promise “Just do it”.