Sneakers are unlike almost any other type of clothing, in that most everyone wears them, but some people also make a hobby of collecting them. Ask any of these cult followers about the best brands of tennis shoes, and Nike is bound to make the list, but that’s not all this dynamic company makes.
Emphasis on Athletes
Nike’s mission is very clearly stated. It says that they want to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world; it also explains that they define an athlete as anyone with a body. Though Nike is a massive brand in and of itself, the company also contains other major brands like Converse, Jordan, and Hurley.
The company values innovation, diversity, and social impact, as well as the sustainable manufacturing of their shoes, clothing, and accessories.
Local Classic to Global Sensation
Nike began as the brainchild of a University of Oregon track coach, as well as that of one of his former students; the two originally called their company Blue Ribbon Sports when it was founded in 1964, and they opened their first retail shop two years later.
The company was renamed Nike in the late ‘70s, and their “swoosh” logo became one of the most recognizable brand symbols in the world by the end of the 20th century. Nike has bought and sold a number of sports- and apparel-related businesses since gaining massive success in the ‘80s.
Not only do they now dominate the sports apparel sector, but Nike also has a considerable market share in the realm of shoes in general. With a massive brand following and a reputation for setting trends, this company just keeps growing.
Taking the Lead
By no means is Nike a monopoly; in fact, they probably have more steep competition than your average industry giant. Still, this company has an undeniable stranglehold on the sports apparel industry.
Adidas, which is probably Nike’s largest competitor, is 50 years older than Nike, but has less than one tenth of Nike’s evaluation. This means that Nike may not have an exclusive market share, but they’re certainly not in any danger of being taken over.
Sports Stars in Swooshes
Nike’s most effective move to gain visibility is undoubtedly their robust celebrity endorsements. The most famous (and most expensive) of these endorsements comes from basketball great Michael Jordan, who has partnered with the company since the ‘80s.
Basketball is a huge source of Nike celebrity endorsements, but golfers like Tiger Woods, and baseball stars like Derek Jeter have also jumped on the bandwagon.
Collision over Kaepernick
In 2018, Nike partnered with former football player Colin Kaepernick with an ad that read “believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.” The text referenced Kaepernick’s league ousting after he refused to stand for the national anthem as a form of protest.
The brand’s move to partner with Kaepernick sparked outrage and boycotts from a vocal portion of the Nike base, but the company’s revenue still jumped billions following the partnership, and they are still taking the athlete’s suggestions into account.
For 2019, Nike sits at number 14 on the Forbes list of the World’s Most Valuable Brands with a brand value of $36.8 billion, which is 15% higher than the previous year.
Nike isn’t afraid to make waves, and that’s a strategy that is likely to continue paying off for this massively influential brand.