Defining Marketing for the 21st Century Nike’s Marketing Strategy Company Summary Founded in 1962, Nike, formerly known as Blue Ribbon Sports, is a major publicly traded sportswear, footwear, and fitness equipment manufacturer based in the US. The company’s main focus was to provide high quality running shoes designed by athletes for athletes. By moving the manufacturing abroad, Phillip Knight (Founder), believed that the shoes could be sold at competitive prices (Kotler & Keller, 2012, p. 29).
In order to market the brand to the public and create a cult like following, Nike igned up a few athletes to endorse the brand and promote it to the masses; this strategy proved to be a success and eventually became the forefront of Nike’s marketing strategy. In addition, Nike invested $20 million dollars into the “Just Do It” campaign, which challenged a generation of athletic enthusiasts to chase their goals. Other marketing strategies such as sponsorship of international sports teams were used to enter markets abroad and strengthen the company’s presence at the global level.
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
According to D&B site Hoovers, Nike is the world’s #1 shoe and apparel company. Pros of Marketing Strategy Nike has focused on selling a brand that represents success and excellence. In order to convey that to the public the company has combined a marketing strategy that is difficult to beat. Signing up athletes like runner Steve Prefontaine, NBA player Michael Jordan, golf Player Tiger Woods, and Tennis player Maria Sharapova, has helped Nike build a strong reputation of excellence and gain the loyalty of the public.
Michael Jordan’s line of shoes yielded a revenue of $100 million the first year of its debut; presently the line of sneakers remains a success and a must have. Other athletes such as Kobe Bryant, Alex Rodriguez, and Lance Armstrong are as important to the brand. These athletes who have transcended their sports, embody success and are considered “heroes” worldwide. The fact that Nike has been able to sign them up, has gained the company the millions of customers that look up to these athletes.
Nike has also used the swoosh logo, which is strategically placed in all Nike products and athletic gear of athletes, thus promoting the brand to the masses at the games or at home watching television. The “Just Do It” campaign combined with the logo of he company both represent the risk-taking, hard work, and dedication that the company seeks to convey to the public. Whether is the logo on the sneakers, the words “Just Do it” on a shirt, or the word Nike on a headband, the company has it all covered. All of the products have been color coordinated to provide customers with variation, great design, and excellent performance.
It is no wonder the brand is number one in its industry. Nike also has made strategic partnerships with successful companies. Nike teamed up with champion Lance Armstrong not only to sell Nike products but also to help Armstrongs LIVESTRONG campaign. Nike sold over 70 million yellow bracelets, netting $80 million for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. stores running information such as calories burned, mileage, and pace. These partnerships have boosted company’s revenues and built the brand into the leading company it has become.
Cons of Marketing Strategy While signing up athletes to endorse the brand and promote it to the masses has been one of the key factors of Nike’s success, it has also been a cause of detriment in recent years. When an athlete is performing great, everyone falls in love not only with he athlete but with the brand they represent; this is because everyone wants to be a winner, and if the brand represents winning, everyone wants to wear the brand. However, when an athlete becomes infamous for unethical issues, the brand he/she represents takes a hit as well.
Take for example the Tiger Woods cheating scandal, which became worldwide news in a matter of minutes. The once beloved golf player became the face of shame, and everyone knew about it. Some companies, which he had deals with, even dropped their contracts, afraid to take a hit for the bad publicity he was attracting. In essence, Nike takes a risk when signing up athletes, which although can be great for long periods of time, can and will eventually fall victim to bad press as they are humans and are prone to mistakes.
Working with Lance Armstrong and his foundation yielded not only high revenues, but also gave way to a Nike collection of gear that represented the colors of the foundation; black and yellow. The partnership was successful and gained the company good publicity, as the foundation is known for its charity work with cancer patients. However, when Armstrong admitted using illicit drugs for the Tour de France, the company was forced to distance itself from the athlete and his foundation, as they were both under the microscope of the press.
This break caused implications for the company, as many might have not been happy that the company withdrew its support to the Armstrong foundation, while others maybe felt that it was the right move. There is no quantifiable way of knowing what impact the break had on Nike’s image in the eyes of the public. Adidas As a Competitor Adidas based in Europe should use the Nike strategy to stay competitive. First, the company should seek to re-invent the image of the company in the public’s eyes. By staying versatile and coming up with new designs and colors, Adidas will attract consumer’s of all ages.
Adidas only enjoys 6% of the running shoe market share, while Nike enjoys 54% market share. What this implicates is that Adidas needs to concentrate its efforts and design shoes that are aesthetically pleasing, allow for superior performance, and can be coordinated with other products made by the company. By signing up athletes in the NBA such as Dwight Howard, for example, Adidas has been able to conquer some of the US market. What Adidas should also do is focus on the young athletes ages 13-19.
This group of athletes can be easily influenced, are more likely to buy multiple products, and can become long-term loyal customers of the brand if the right design attracts them. In addition, Adidas can form a partnership with Samsung, known as Apple’s strongest competitor, to manufacture a product that can compete with Nike+. In doing so, Adidas will gain access to Samsungs loyal customer base and stay afloat. Sponsoring charity foundations can also gain the company good publicity if marketed on television. Designing specific products for a specific foundation, like Nike did with the Armstrong foundation, can