Study the financial data for Nike.
The world's leading sporting goods company was founded in 1962. Thanks in part to celebrity endorsements, the company has grown from an importer of Japanese sneakers to a global company that continues to set sports trends - and stay at the forefront of technology with products such as fitness trackers.
1964 (as Blue Ribbon Sports),
1971 (as Nike Inc.)
|Bill Bowerman and Philip Knight (Blue Ribbon Sports).
|Beaverton, Oregon, United States
John Donahoe (CEO and President)
Mark Parker (Executive Chairman
Andy Campion (COO))
|Sports shoes, sportswear, fitness trackers, sports accessories
1962: Blue Ribbon Sports starts as an import company
Philip H. Knight founds Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS) to import Japanese sneakers.
1963: The first sneakers arrive
The still young firm a BRS receives the first delivery of 200 pairs of sneakers from the Japanese company Onitsuka Tiger Co.
1964: Knight and Bowerman cooperate
Philip H. Knight joins forces with William Bowerman. The company sells 1,300 pairs of running shoes in its first year, for a total of $8,000, which rises to $20,000 the following year.
1966: Opening of the first retail store
BRS opens its first store at 3107 Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica, California. The following year, the company expands up the East Coast to Wellesley, Massachusetts.
1971: Foundation of the company Nike
After the company had grown to several stores, about 20 employees and a turnover of about 300,000 US dollars, BRS begins to design its own shoe models thanks to the financial support of the Japanese Nissho Iwai Corporation and starts production in the same year. At the same time, the company name changes to Nike Inc, the name of the Greek goddess of victory. The logo was designed by Carolyn Davis, a student at Portland State University, for $35. It is not until 1983 that the student receives a diamond ring and shares in the company.
1972: Great appearance at the Olympic Games
The company's entry into the Canadian market marked the beginning of the internationalization of its business. Nike's first major appearance, however, came at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. There, the company outfitted runner Steve Prefontaineaus, whose fourth-place finish in the 5,000-meter race further raised the company's profile after Romanian tennis player Ilie Nastase became the first athlete to be sponsored by a company.
The innovative waffle sole of the iconic Waffle Trainer gives the company its first bestseller. Designed specifically for runners, the Nike Cortez - the young company's first model - quickly gains popularity for its light weight and breathability. As a result, sales of the new products rise to $1.96 million in the first year, and the number of employees grows to 45.
1974: Expansion overseas
Nike opens its first manufacturing plant in Exeter, New Hampshire, and expands into Australia. To grow, the company relies on aggressive advertising and raises its profile with celebrity endorsements such as Jimmy Connors. By the end of the year, the company had 250 employees and sales were approaching $5 million.
1976: Growth through the jogging boom
Thanks in large part to the jogging boom, the company continues to grow. Sales tripled to $14 million in 1976 and doubled again the following year to $28 million. The company meets rising demand with new manufacturing facilities, a sewing plant in Maine, and additional plants in Taiwan and Korea. At the same time, Nike enters markets in South America and Asia.
Nike hires its first professional advertising agency, John Brown & Partners of Seattle. The first ad, titled "There is no finish line," does not feature an image of a Nike product.
1978: Entry into the European market
After operating in Asia, Australia and the Americas, the company finally expands into Europe.
1979: Nike "Air" and sportswear
Nike introduces Air technology with a cushioned sole in the new "Tailwind" shoe. The company also begins manufacturing and marketing its first athletic apparel.
The company moves to new headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. By this time, approximately one out of every two athletic shoes sold in the U.S. is a Nike model.
1980: Initial public offering
The company goes public at a price of 18 cents per share. The goal of the IPO is to further expand in the European market. At the same time, Nike is expanding its domestic production capacity, although about 80% of its shoes are already manufactured in Taiwan and South Korea.
1981: Foundation of Nike International, Ltd.
As growth in the U.S. market slows, the company forms Nike International, Ltd. to expand its operations into foreign markets in Europe, Japan and Asia, Latin America and Africa. Especially in Europe, Nike faces stiff competition from Adidas and Puma, which dominate the soccer market. To avoid high import duties and increase control over marketing and distribution, Nike opens a factory in Ireland and buys out its distributors in England and Austria.
1982: Equipment as a promotional measure
Nike outfits Premier League and European Cup champion Aston Villa to promote its new football boots. In addition to footwear - including the Air Force I basketball shoe and the Air Ace tennis shoe - the company's product portfolio now includes some 200 different items of apparel. The company's innovative designs are driving annual growth rates of nearly 100%.
1984: Sales decline despite change in strategy
Triggered by an 11.5% drop in domestic sales in fiscal 1984, Nike changes its marketing strategy. Sponsorship of events and athletes is supplemented by a national TV and magazine campaign and the Cities Campaign - a billboard and mural campaign during the L.A. Olympics. Nevertheless, the fiscal year ends in May with a 30 percent drop in profits, mainly due to price discounting and the expansion of the apparel division, despite a slight increase in international sales. The following quarters are also characterized by losses due to declining market share, leading the company to reduce inventories and product lines.
In addition to his duties as Chairman and CEO, Knight, the company's founder, resumes the position of President to streamline management. The company also laid off about 400 employees that year.
1985: Launch of the "Air Jordan
The financial losses are quickly forgotten when Nike wins over basketball superstar Michael Jordan. However, the "Air Jordan" shoes named after him do not become a bestseller because of their first appearance at a basketball game, but only when the player is banned from wearing them because they undermine the uniformity of the team's clothing. Michael Jordan continues to wear the shoes for 82 games, paying a $5,000 fine per game - at least in theory. In practice, Nike recognizes the publicity value of the offense and pays Jordan's fine. An investment that pays off: instead of the $3 million in sales Nike expected in the first three years after launch, $130 million in shoes roll off the production line in the first year.
In addition to this coup, the company creates a new product division and buys Pro-Form, a manufacturer of weightlifting equipment, to cover all areas of the ongoing fitness trend. Further restructuring takes place with the merger of the footwear and apparel businesses to form Sport.
1986: New products and streamlining of structures
Earlier this year, Nike announced new product lines, including women's casual wear, golf shoes, a tennis outfit called "Wimbledon" and an affordable line of athletic shoes.
Despite rising profits and surpassing $1 billion in sales, the company is not only selling its 51% stake in Nike Japan to its Japanese partner, but also laying off about 10% of all U.S. employees at all levels.
1987: The Beatles in advertising
The new Air Max shoe is advertised on TV with the Beatles song "Revolution". It is the first commercial to use Beatles music.
1988: "Just do it"
The slogan "Just do it" is featured in a $10 million commercial showing 80-year-old running icon Walter Stack crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. Contrary to popular belief, the slogan originated with convicted serial killer Gary Gilmore, who reportedly chose "Let's do it" as his last words. Nike's head of advertising at the time, Dan Wieden, was inspired by this to express that it's not about winning or losing, it's about just doing it.
1989: Arrived at the top
That year, Nike becomes the world's largest sporting goods company, a position it holds to this day. Sales now total $1.7 billion and profits $167 million.
The company continues to impress with product innovations such as the Air Pressure shoe, which features an inflatable collar around the ankle. The company's aggressive marketing with celebrities such as Spike Lee, Michael Jordan and Bo Jackson also contributes to its economic success. This year alone, the advertising budget is around 45 million US dollars.
1990: Nike Town opened
The first Nike Town Outlet store opens in Portland, Oregon.
In the same year, Nike sues two competitors for copying patented shoe designs and fights with customs authorities over import duties on Air Jordan shoes. Nike acquires Tetra Plastics Inc., a manufacturer of plastic sheeting for shoe soles. Sales total $2 billion.
1991: Protest against working conditions
Activist Jeff Ballinger publishes a report on working conditions in Nike's Indonesian factories, and an article in Harper's Magazine mentions a wage of 14 cents an hour. The result was public outrage and protests that received widespread media attention, including during the 1992 Olympics. Nonetheless, the company's sales rose to $3 billion that year.
1992: Further growth and big plans
Nike explicitly targets the women's market with an elaborate advertising campaign, resulting in sales of apparel lines such as Fitness Essentials, Elite Aerobics, Physical Elements and All Condition Gear increasing 25% in both 1990 and 1991 and 68% in 1992.
After Portland, a second Nike Town opens in Chicago.
On its 20th anniversary, the company is nearly debt-free, has sales of $3.4 billion, reports a $100 million increase in profits, largely due to its 30 company-owned discount stores and its two Nike Towns, and is setting its sights even higher. CEO Philip Knight announces a massive rebuild to not only become the best sports and fitness company in the world, but to make Nike a mega-brand alongside Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Sony and Disney through a complex marketing strategy.
1994: International sports sponsoring
The company continues to focus on sports sponsorship and equips Brazil, the soccer world champions at the time.
1995: Lonely Top
Nike buys Canadian hockey equipment maker Canstar for $395 million.
With a 30% market share in the US, the company is currently far ahead of its direct competitor Reebok with 20%. At around USD 2 billion, overseas sales account for around 40% of total sales.
1996: Tiger Woods becomes the new advertising star
In this year, Nike establishes its apparel division. Another milestone in the company's history is the opening of Nike Town in Manhattan, which quickly becomes the company's flagship store. Perhaps the most important event of the year, however, is the start of the Tiger Woods partnership. The golf star signs a 20-year deal that is expected to generate $5 million a year for the company.
1997: Record sales
The Nike company is growing relentlessly. In the U.S., about one out of every two athletic shoes sold is a Nike. Fiscal year 1997 closes with sales of $9.19 billion and profits of a staggering $795.8 million. Overseas sales are primarily responsible for the 42% increase in sales between 1996 and 1997. Sales in Asia increase by $500 million to $1.24 billion, and sales in Europe increase by $450 million.
1998: Improvement of working conditions
After continued protests over workers' conditions, Nike raises the minimum age for workers, increases oversight, and implements some U.S. standards in overseas factories. A year later, the company forms the Fair Labor Association and begins inspecting factories.
In the fourth quarter of the fiscal year, the company reports a loss of $67.7 million-its first in 13 years. As part of a cost-cutting campaign, the company lays off 5% of its workforce, or 1,200 workers.
1999: Launch of the online store
The company opens its own online store to sell its products directly. That same year, co-founder William Bowerman died at the age of 88.
2002: Acquisition of Hurley
With Hurley, the company buys a leading clothing manufacturer of surf fashion.
2003: Lebron James and Kobe Bryant as new advertising partners
With the signing of Lebron James and Kobe Bryant, Nike once again gains two high-profile basketball superstars for its advertising campaigns.
2004: Purchase of Converse
Nike acquires Converse for $309 million.
Phil Knight steps down as CEO and President, but remains Chairman of the Board. William D. Perez is named new CEO.
2005: Fight against racism
With its "Stand up, speak out!" campaign, the company is actively campaigning against racism and for more tolerance and acceptance in European football stadiums.
2006: Another change in management
At the beginning of the year, Mark Parker replaced William Perez as CEO.
2007: Sale of starter
Nike sells its subsidiary Starter.
2008: Sale of the ice hockey division
Derek Jeter becomes a Nike endorser.
The Bauer Hockey division is sold to a group of investors including Kohlberg & Company and businessman W. Graeme Roustan for $200 million.
2012: Supplier of the NFL
Nike becomes the official supplier of the NFL. A new advertising concept is introduced: 1920s-style barbershops open simultaneously in Buenos Aires, Milan, Madrid, Mexico City, Moscow and Paris. A promotional video featuring footballer Mario Balotelli is released for the pop-up studio in Paris.
With the sale of Umbro, the company continues its divestment strategy until only Converse remains in 2020.
2013: Promotion to the Dow Jones Industrial Average
Nike is added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, replacing Alcoa. The company's profits rise 13% between April and December of that year.
2015: The first lifetime advertising contract
The company signs its first lifetime endorsement with basketball star Lebron James.
The Nike Mag - a replica of the shoes from Back to the Future II - is a limited-edition, self-lacing shoe that can only be purchased at auction. Proceeds will benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
2016: Further criticism of working conditions
Despite Nike's efforts to improve working conditions in its supplier countries, a report by the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) has uncovered numerous other labor abuses at a Vietnamese factory. In total, more than one million people work for the company in 565 factories in 42 countries around the world.
2017: Innovation with the Vaporfly series
The Nike Vaporfly revolutionizes distance running with a new technological composition that improves running times by more than 4%. The popularity and performance of the Nike Vaporfly led to a new generation of running shoes.
2018: Controversial advertising
The ad campaign featuring athlete and political activist Colin Kaepernick sparked a mix of approval and backlash.
The company now ranks 89th on the Fortune 500 list of US companies by total revenue.
2019: Record auction
A pair of Nike shoes sold for $437,500, the highest price ever paid at a Sotheby's auction. The previous record was $190,373 for a pair of Converse shoes reportedly worn by Michael Jordan in 1984. Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman's Moon Shoes were designed for runners competing in the 1972 Olympic Games. The buyer is Canadian Miles Nadal, an investor and car collector who previously purchased a collection of 99 rare athletic shoes for $850,000.
2020: Most valuable sports company in the world
The brand is valued at $32 billion, making it the most valuable sports company in the world. The company employs 76,700 people worldwide.
Due to the Covid pandemic, sales in China are down 5% as stores are closed. At the same time, online sales increased 36% in the first quarter and sales of personal training apps increased 80% in the same period.
2021: Destruction of new goods
Research by Die Zeit and NDR reveals that Nike destroys new goods, including returns.
2022: Consequences of the Russian invasion
After Russia's attack on Ukraine, Nike closes its 116 stores in Russia and stops franchising. In June, the company announces that the stores will remain closed permanently.
2023: Synthetics instead of kangaroos
The company announces it will phase out kangaroo leather in production by the end of the year. It will be replaced by an all-synthetic upper with improved performance.
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