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Philip Knight Nike

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Philip Knight is the chairman, CEO, and co-founder of Nike and he currently owns more than 90% of the firm. The company is internationally known for its trademark "swoosh" and its leadership in the athletic apparel industry. Philip H. Knight's involvement with a sporting goods company is not accidental. He has always loved running, was a miler in college and has participated in marathons since. Knight received a BBA in Accounting at the University of Oregon in 1959, and was an MBA student at Stanford University. The revolution of the sports clothing industry began in 1964, when Knight and his partner, coach Bob Bowerman, began to import Japanese shoes and sell them to local track runners, under the company name Blue Ribbon Sports.

According to reports from NIKE is the world's #1 shoemaker and controls over 20% of the US athletic shoe market. The company designs and sells shoes for a variety of sports, including baseball, cheerleading, golf, volleyball, and wrestling. NIKE also sells Cole Haan dress and casual shoes and a line of athletic apparel and equipment. In addition, it operates NIKETOWN shoe and sportswear stores, NIKE factory outlets, and NIKE women shops. NIKE sells its products throughout the US and in about 200 other countries.

According to Nike's mission is as follows, "To be an innovative and inspirational corporate citizen in a world where our company participates. We seek to protect and enhance the Nike brand through responsible business practices that contribute to profitable and sustainable growth." This mission portrays its management's beliefs and values of their desire to be number one and maintain the leading position in the sports and fitness shoe and apparel industry.

Within Nike's code of ethics they also stress how important their social responsibility is to the company. They do not only what law requires, but also what is required to be a leader of their industry. To do this their management practices are to respect the rights of all employees, and provide them the right to work in a place free of harassment, abuse or corporal punishment. The principle that decisions on hiring, salary, benefits, advancement, termination or retirement is based solely on the ability of an individual to do the job. They do not discriminate based on race, creed, gender, marital or maternity status, religious or political beliefs, age or sexual orientation. Also they make many efforts to minimize the impact on the environment and to provide a safe and health work environment.

Nike has grown into the empire it is today by continuously introducing new features into its products, constantly looking for technological improvements, innovation, heavy advertising, and its excellent management. Although Knight has received a lot of negative press and publicity because of Nike's use of child labor in Indonesia and China, the footwear entrepreneur has been hailed as one of 1997's top managers by Business Weekly. Knight is known for his "in your face" attitude.

Nike's top management's leadership style can be characterized by the team management approach. The Nike management group is team oriented. This style of leadership leads to relationships of trust and respect. The company culture lends a hand to the fact that top management's teamwork style has spread throughout the organization. Mark Parker & Charlie Denson who are part of Nike's senior management team were promoted in order to move the company into different directions. As Denson has a background in sales and Parker comes from advertising. The plan is to broaden its reach to connect with all people, not just the hardcore athletes. The company is expanding it's clothing line and gaining more international ground by manufacturing soccer products. Nike is growing to be a truly global company.

Within their 2004 annual report Denson & Parker were asked how he simplifies a business like Nike Denson's reply was, "We need to focus on knowing who our consumer is, who we're competing against, and who we are. When we know those answers, we think we can win. The financial successes are the results of having a better consumer connection, having a clearer idea of who we are, having a clearer sense of how we're going to be more competitive in each of the different pieces of the business around the world." Parker similarly stated, "Both Charlie and I fixated on making sure we were more competitive in each distinct piece of the business. It's a basic approach, but we both saw a huge opportunity to be more competitive by better executing the fundamentals while better connecting with those we're here to serve."

Nike's decision with regard to marketing is to widely use top professional athletes to endorse its products. No company has put as much creative energy and resources into marketing celebrities as Nike. As running became less popular at the beginning of the 1980s and basketball began to gain popularity, Nike began focusing its marketing attention on basketball shoes. Using Michael Jordan to endorse their basketball shoes, Nike was able to communicate with its consumers effectively and subsequently, profits skyrocketed. Nike has signed Tiger Woods to a five-year endorsement deal, reportedly worth more than $40 million, and has thrown its considerable weight behind him. Nike is know for their creative advertising using celebrities to catch the eye of the target market.

Research & Development is considered one of the key elements for Nike to maintain its competitive advantage in the market. Nike's decision of Research & Development is to create high quality products using high technology such as air sole in footwear to differentiate its products from other rival makers. Design is also one of the crucial elements to maintain Nike's competitive advantage as well as keep its popularity among different kind of consumers. Nike's decision on design is to create products that fit and match current consumer taste, by using well-known professional athletes' model, such as the Air Jordan sneaker.

With groundbreaking, creative advertising campaigns such as It's Gotta Be the Shoes, Bo Knows, & Just Do It, you wouldn't even think that Knight had to be talked into advertising, but it is true, he used to believe that good products sell themselves. Although he is still uneasy about advertising, the company's commercials have been hailed as pop art, Nike has been known for turning sports stars into cartoonish athletes and creating a market of young consumers.

Nike's management analyzes its internal environment



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