First, they made shoes for real champions out of ordinary sneakers, gradually changing the world of sports beyond recognition.
And then they turned those same sneakers into the most popular shoes for every day. It's safe to say that behind their uncomplicated Swoosh logo (perhaps the most recognizable in the world?) and decades-old "Just Do It" slogan, there is an incredible story. Which everyone who has ever worn a pair of real Nikes should know a little more about.
1. How it all began
One of the world's dominant brands in the sports world would hardly have reached today's heights if it had not changed its name. The future sports giant was known as Blue Ribbon Sports for 14 years, at first being a distributor of the products of the Japanese brand Onitsuka Tiger shoes. By the way, over time, he also chose more concise Asics. Only in 1968, choosing between Dimension Six and Nike, did the company lean towards the second option.
2. By the way, about the name itself
“Hey buddy, how are your Nikes?”
- Top class!
This is how, and in no other way, a dialogue should be built with the owner of a pair of sneakers with a “swoosh”. Despite the fact that the wrong pronunciation of the Nike brand is firmly established among the Russian-speaking (and not only) audience, any true fan of the brand will say that the Nike rule and nothing else! The company got its name in honor of the Greek goddess Nike - maybe this is where so many mistakes with pronunciation come from? By the way, even the Russian subsidiary of Nike LLC received an incorrect transcription, but you will not find the official Russian version of the spelling of the brand. In the English-speaking environment, you can even find a special transcription for the correct pronunciation of the company name - “ny'kee”.
3. And about that very “tick”
Famous nike logo, known as the "Swoosh", was created in 1971 by student Carolyn Davidson at the request of company founder Phil Knight. As an aspiring designer and freelancer at Nike, the girl received $35 for her work, and the emblem has been globally recognized and relevant for half a century. However, they want a rumor that 12 years later, Knight thanked Davidson by giving her a diamond ring and a stake in the company, which later rose in price to $ 640,000.
The “swoosh” itself, as conceived by the designer, refers to Nika, identifying her wing, and also symbolizes continuous movement at high speed. By the way, Nike managed to register Swoosh as an independent trademark only in 1995. At the same time, the company decided for the first time to abandon the word "Nike" from the logo, leaving only "swoosh".
4. About the experience with the waffle iron
In 1972, thanks in large part to a fluke, Nike managed to produce a unique shoe sole for the market in an ordinary waffle iron. Thanks to a special pattern created using the heating of household appliances, the sneaker soles have the world's best grip on the treadmill. In the same year, the company entered the Canadian market and began to promote its products through cooperation with famous athletes.
5. Just Do It!
One of the world's most recognizable slogans, "Just Do It," was inspired by the words of Gary Gilmour, a serial criminal convicted to death. It is known that before his death, the last words he uttered were: "Let's Do It!" - "Let's do that!". Nike used the phrase "Just Do It" in their advertising campaign in 1988 and then chose it for the company's main slogan, which remains unchanged to this day.
6. History with the Beatles
Incredibly, Nike was the first company to use The Beatles in their product ads. An ad for Nike Air Max sneakers came out in 1987 and the song was "Revolution". The $10 million ad has become one of the most famous in history, and has also been heavily criticized. Fans of the Beatles thought that the corporation made the authors of advertising slogans out of rock musicians. In addition, having agreed with Yoko Ono, Nike did not enlist the support of other members of the Liverpool Four and received claims for $ 15 million. Claims against the copyright holders were settled only two years later.
7. The world's largest store
For a long time, the Niketown London Unveiled was considered the largest in the collection of the American brand. The flagship in the UK capital opened in 2011 after a renovation of 13,000 sqm on four floors. But at the end of 2018, the 000 Innovation House was unveiled in New York: Nike was able to afford a grandiose retail space of over 20,000 square meters on the corner of 5th Avenue. The store has become the most technologically advanced and innovative store in history, offering customers a variety of digital services and an entire floor of the Nike Speed Shop with market-driven merchandise.
By the way, the five-story Nike flagship store on Kuznetsky Most in Moscow, which opened in 2017, is the largest in Central and Eastern Europe.
8. What it means to be #1
Despite the apparent closeness competition with Adidas and other sports brands rising in popularity, Nike remains the #1 in the world of sports. Every year, the company sells around 900 million goods worldwide - clothing, footwear, accessories and equipment. Today, there are more than 70,000 stores in 160 countries that sell real Nike, including more than 1,100 branded monostores. When it comes to sneakers, 25 pairs are sold worldwide every second, which brings the company over $1,000 per second.
9. Favorite among millennials
Importantly, for many years Nike has not only been the number one selling sports brand on the planet, but also tops the ranking of the most beloved brands among millennials - people born from 1981 to 2000. According to advertising agency Moosylvania, today 62% Gen Y consumers are choosing Nike sportswear.
10. Nike and company
Nike remains the most valuable sports brand in the world, with a valuation of over $30 billion, according to Forbes estimates. This is almost three times more than Adidas. The company's share of the US market is 37%. Converse-owned companies and surfer clothing manufacturer Hurley, of course, contribute to the business. The first has been a serious competitor for a long time: people began to buy simple rag sneakers for 30-40 dollars, expressing their protest against high-quality sneakers and globalism in general. Nike had no choice but to buy a competitor. The deal closed in 2003, with over $300 million paid for Converse. Incidentally, Nike's market value in 2019 is over $86 billion.
11 Air Jordan
In 1984, the company developed the Air Jordan name brand for the legendary basketball player Michael Jordan, later using the Jumpman as the logo of the jumping man. When the first Air Jordan branded sneakers were released, the future legend was still an NBA rookie. It is known that the basketball player himself did not want to cooperate with Nike and agreed only under pressure from his parents.
12. Ad recognition
Nike has long supported the brand's strategy through partnerships with top athletes. The company has a lot of commercials on its account, recognized as the best by both consumers and industry experts. In particular, Nike became the first company in history to win the Cannes Advertiser of the Year award twice, in 1994 and 2003. Nike has also won two prestigious Emmy awards for best commercial.
13. Not Made in the USA
Despite the fact that Nike is one of the symbols of the United States, all production has long been withdrawn to developing countries as part of a program to optimize business and reduce costs. Nike owns 112 footwear factories in 12 countries. At the same time, almost half is in Vietnam, and the other half is made in China and Indonesia. Nike clothing is made in 334 factories in 36 countries, with 27% manufactured in China and 22% manufactured in Vietnam.
In terms of market, 40% of all Nike products are sold in the US, while China accounts for 17% and Europe, the Middle East and Africa for a total of 26%. In the ranking of the largest companies in the world, Nike ranks 280th, and in the list of the most expensive brands on the planet - 14th!