At this point in time, one would be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t recognize the “Swoosh” symbol or the “Just Do It” slogan. Nike is everywhere, aspirational, and inarguably the leader among sports apparel brands. But how did the company become the global giant it is now?
Far from being the sought-after brand for sports equipment and gear, Nike was founded by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman in 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports, a distributor for a brand that it’s since overtaken in popularity, Onitsuka Tiger.
This rise from distributorship to manufacturer and global brand worth billions is thanks to a number of factors such as constant innovation, starting with co-founder Bill Bowerman who basically reinvented athletic shoes to the current Nike+ Fuel fitness tracker, consistency in terms of high quality products, and unparalleled marketing savvy. The company’s been known to feature some of the world’s top athletes as endorsers or collaborators. Case in point: Michael Jordan and the best-selling Air Jordans series was basically Nike telling people that wearing these shoes meant one could be like Jordan (or LeBron James or Kobe Bryant, if one preferred LeBrons or the Black Mamba, respectively).
Aside from all these, Nike also takes advantage of creative ideas and media to spread their “Just Do It” message with some very memorable ads. One very memorable modern commercial is a 2012 throwback to the original “Just Do It” ad from 1988, which features a young boy pushing himself as he jogs, and a voice over saying “Greatness is no more unique to us than breathing. We’re all capable of it.” Nike remains at the top of the sports apparel and gear game because it knows how to speak to its consumers and of course, because of its love for invention and quality.
Steve Sorensen studies the net worth of successful individuals, specificially how their investment choices helped them grow their companies. Follow him on Facebook to learn more about business and investments.