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Nike (previously known as Blue Ribbon Sports) was founded in 1964 by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman. Knight was a runner from Portland who trained with track and field coach Bowerman. Bill Bowerman had a passion for finding ways that would enhance the performance of students and tried improving their shoes in his free time. He tried many combinations of things, which were unsuccessful. Knight decided to try and import shoes from Japan and sell them in the local area, which then sparked an interest in Bowerman, so they decided to become equal partners. The business started out slow, but fortunately, sales had reached $20,000 by 1965. They then tried to launch their own line of shoes, and after years of struggle, they came up with a successful light weight training shoe that had an outsole for traction. Their training shoes debuted in the 1972 Track & Field Trials.
A few major challenges Nike has faced over the years include the apparel industry struggling with the fact that consumers don’t want to spend money on Nike’s apparel; Nike’s overall push for online sales has hurt the smaller business that sells the brand in their stores. Another problem is the scare that the product may be going out of style. 12-14% of Nike’s apparel is basketball apparel, and investors are concerned that basketball trends are slowing down. Lastly, Nike recently had American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick as the face of the brand’s 30th anniversary, which did not please the media due to his decision to stay sitting down while the national anthem was being played before a game. Even though people were upset with Nike’s decision, their sales reflected the opposite; their sales were actually up by a lot.
How it works
Nike’s mission statement is “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” Product Lines
Nike offers a range of apparel and shoes for lifestyle, running, football, basketball, baseball, soccer, training, skateboarding, etc. They sell many different clothing, shoes, accessories, and equipment. The company’s main target audience is athletes.
Nike is innovating their materials to reduce the environmental impact by concentrating on water conservation. In 2012, Nike adopted a new carbon-based dyeing process that dyes garments without using water or chemicals. Without using water, energy use is also reduced due to the garment not having to be dried. Nike has also announced that by 2020, they will eliminate hazardous chemicals from their global supply chain. At the end of 2013, there were over a million workers in 785 contract factories and 2.5 million people across the value chain. The company implemented policies that supported workers and demanded that their contractors and suppliers would meet them.
The company now says, “We believe that a valued contract factory workforce means better business for the factories and for Nike and better well-being for individual workers. Factories that value their workers can build a skilled, productive, and engaged workforce.” Nike’s long-term goals are to continue improving labor conditions in contract factories, create a climate-neutral company, drive sustainable product design and innovation, and unleash potential by giving youth greater access to the benefits of sport. My favorite CSR initiative is the actions they’re taking to help factory workers because factory workers don’t deserve to be treated any differently than workers anywhere else in the world, especially for all of the hard work they truly do.
Nike is enabling two innovative tools; the blue sign blue finder and the blue sign blue guide. With blue finder, a supplier can access pre-screened and more sustainable textile preparations, including dye systems, detergents, etc. The blue finder provides an opportunity to increase water and energy efficiency. The blue guide gives Nike access to over 30,000 materials produced using chemicals from the blue finder.
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