An American multinational corporation engaged in the design, development, manufacturing and worldwide marketing and selling of sports gear, Nike Inc. is one of the world’s largest suppliers of athletic shoes and apparel and a major manufacturer of sports equipment.
- Founded on January 25, 1964, Nike was originally named Blue Ribbon Sports, it offi cially became Nike Inc. on May 30, 1971
- In January 2013, Nike signed Rory McIlroy, the then No 1 golfer in the world to a 10-year sponsorship deal worth $250 million to include Nike’s range of golf clubs
- In 2014 the brand alone was valued at $19 billion, making it the most valuable brand among sports businesses
- The company takes its name from the Greek word ‘Nike’, the Greek goddess of victory
BLAZE TO BRILLIANCE
The company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, in the Portland metropolitan area. Founded on January 25, 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports by University of Oregon track athlete Phil Knight and his coach Bill Bowerman, it officially became Nike Inc. on May 30, 1971. The company takes its name from the Greek word ‘Nike’, the Greek goddess of victory.
The company initially operated as a distributor for Japanese shoe maker Onitsuka Tiger (now ASICS), making most sales at track meets. Apart from marketing its products under the brand name ‘Nike’, it also deals under the brand name Nike Golf, Nike Pro, Nike+, Air Jordan, Air Force 1, Nike Dunk, Foamposite, Nike Skateboarding and subsidiaries including Brand Jordan, Hurley International and Converse.
In addition to manufacturing sportswear and equipment, the company also operates retail stores under the name ‘Niketown’.
Over the course of its history, Nike has acquired several apparel and footwear companies. Its first acquisition was the upscale footwear company Cole Haan in 1988, followed by the purchase of Bauer Hockey in 1994. In 2002, Nike bought surf apparel company Hurley International from founder Bob Hurley followed by Nike’s $309 million acquisition of Converse line of sneakers in 2003.
It acquired Starter and Umbro, later selling it off in 2007 and 2012 respectively, followed by selling Cole Haan in 2013. The move was made in order to refocus on Nike’s core business lines by divesting from some of its subsidiaries. As of 2013, Nike owns two key subsidiaries: Converse Inc. and Hurley International.
ENGAGEMENT THAT ENTHRALS
In January 2013, Nike signed Rory McIlroy, the then No 1 golfer in the world to a 10-year sponsorship deal worth $250 million to include Nike’s range of golf clubs. As of January 2014, it was widely reported that Nike had entered into negotiations with Manchester United F.C. over a ‘billion dollar’ kit manufacturing deal, extending their current contract beyond 2015. In the past as well as now, Nike continues to sponsor many high-profile athletes and sports teams around the world.
Driven by the mission, ‘Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world ’, the brand also underlines that anyone who has a body can be called an athlete. Nike has been instrumental in fostering a culture of invention and innovation right since its inception.
With revenue in excess of $24.1 billion in the fiscal year 2012, Nike employed more than 44,000 people worldwide. In 2014 the brand was valued at $19 billion, making it the most valuable brand among sports businesses.