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Nike Background

Background information: Iconography Explanation Nike Heritage NIKE, pronounced NI-KEY, is the winged goddess of victory according to Greek mythology. He sat next to Zeus, king of the Olympian pantheon, in Olympus. A mystical presence, symbolizing victorious encounters, NIKE presided first battle in history.

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A Greek saying: “When we go to battle and win, we say it is NIKE. ” Synonymous with honored conquest, NIKE is the twentieth century footwear that lifts the world’s greatest athletes to new levels of mastery and success. Swoosh’ The NIKE embodies the spirit of the winged goddess who inspired the most courageous and chivalrous warriors at the dawn of civilization. (From Nike Consumer Affairs packet, 1996) The Swoosh The Swoosh logo is a graphic design created by Caroline Davidson in 1971. Represents the wing of the Greek goddess Nike. Caroline Davidson was a student at Portland State University in advertising. She met Phil Knight while he was teaching accounting classes and she started doing some freelance work for his company.

Phil Knight Caroline asked to design a logo which could be placed on the side of a shoe. He handed the swoosh, gave $ 35. 00. In the spring of 1972, the first shoe with the Nike logo was introduced ….. the rest is history! (De Nike Consumer Affairs packet, 1996) A Brief History of Nike The Nike athletic machine began as a small set of distribution located in the trunk of Phil Knight’s car. From these principles and not unfavorable, the brainchild of Knight became the athletic shoe company that would come to define many aspects of popular culture and myriad varieties of cool.

Nike emanated from two sources: Bill Bowerman’s struggle lighter, more durable racing shoes for his Oregon runners, and Knight’s search for a way to earn a living without having to give up his love of athletics. Bowerman track coach at the University of Oregon where Phil Knight ran in 1959. Bowerman desire for better quality shoes clearly influenced Knight operating in their search for a marketing strategy. Between them, the seed of the most influential sporting company grew.

The story is this: to get his MBA at Stanford in the ’60s, Knight took classes with Frank Shallenberger. The semester-long project was to create a small business, including a marketing plan. Synthesis of attention to quality shoes Bowerman and growing view that cost high-quality/low products could be produced in Japan and shipped to the U. S. for distribution, Knight found his niche. Shallenberger thought the idea interesting but certainly no business jackpot. Nothing became Knight project. Cut to 1963.

Phil Knight traveled to Japan on a world tour, filled with the wanderlust of young people looking for a way to delay the inevitable call of professional life. Apparently, on a whim, Knight scheduled an interview with a Japanese running shoe manufacturer, Tiger – a subsidiary of the Onitsuka Company. Presenting himself as the representative of an American distributor interested in selling Tiger shoes American runners, Knight told the businessmen of his interest in your product. Blue Ribbon Sports – the name Knight thought the moments when asked he represented – was born.

Tiger executives liked what they heard and Knight placed his first order for Tigers soon after. In 1964, Knight had sold $ 8,000 worth of Tigers and placed an order for more. Coach Bowerman and Knight worked together, but ended up hiring a full-time salesman, Jeff Johnson. After reaching $ 1 million in sales and riding the wave of success, Knight et. al. devised the Nike name and trademark Swoosh in 1971. By the late ’70s, Blue Ribbon Sports officially became Nike and went from $ 10 million to $ 270 million in sales.

Katz (1994) describes the success through Nike placement within the matrix of the fitness revolution, “the idea of exercise and game-playing ceased to be something that the average American did for fun” rather Americans returned to work as a cultural signifier of status. Clearly, the circumstances surrounding the change are not that simple, is one of the objectives of this project to discover other generators of popular attention to health. If Nike did not start the fitness revolution, Knight says, “at least there. And we are confident that ran for a hell of a ride” (Katz, 66).

The 80 and 90 produce increased profits as Nike began to assume the appearance of athletic giant, rather than the underdog of old. “Advertising Age” named Nike the 1996 Marketer of the Year, citing the “ubiquitous swoosh … was more recognized and coveted by consumers than any other sports brand – certainly brand” (Jensen, 12/96). That same year, Nike’s revenues were a staggering $ 6. 74 billion. Expect sales of $ 8 billion in fiscal 1997, Nike has targeted 12 billion in sales by 2000. And all from the back of a car. Few can question Nike’s financial hegemony.

But nearly $ 7 billion in revenues clearly begs the question, what sells these shoes? It is my contention that the power of Nike to sell comes from deep longings of cultural integration and sport individual achievement. These seemingly paradoxical desires collide in the hearts and minds of consumers and produce the unyielding zeal for Nike shoes and clothing. Unfortunate effects of this heat can be found in the killings of Nike apparel in 1991, and the profusion of Nike collectors and websites designed around the company’s products. See list of web pages in the Works Cited page) Nike appeals to these disparate elements of Americans’ personalities through an advertising philosophy that is at once simple and sublime. Furthermore, the practice of Nike high-level athletes promoting their products appeal to countless ages and creeds as a way to identify and emulate their sports heroes. These forces act powerfully upon the individual consumer, but we must not lose sight of the cultural context in which the person moves.