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How Nike Build From Scratch?

Year 1964 –  Nike Originally known as Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS), was founded by University of Oregon track athlete Phil Knight and his coach, Bill Bowerman. The Company initially operated in Eugene, Oregon as a distributor for Japanese shoe maker Onitsuka Tiger, making most sales at track meet out of Knight’s Automobile.

Year 1965 – In its first year of business, BRS sold 1,300 pairs of Japanese running shoes grossing $8,000. By the end of 1965, sales had reached $20,000. 

Year 1966 – In this year BRS opened its first retail store at 3107 Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica, California. In 1967, due to increasing sales, BRS expanded retail and distribution operations on the East Coast in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Year 1971 – The relationship between BRS and Onitsuka Tiger came to an end. BRS prepared to launch its own line of footwear, which was rebranded as Nike, and would bear the Swoosh newly designed by Carolyn Davidson. The Swoosh was the first used by Nike on June 18, 1971 and was registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on January 22, 1974.

Year 1976 – The Company hired John Brown and Partners, based in Seattle, as its first advertising agency. The following year, the agency created the first “brand ad” for Nike, called “There is no Finish Line”, in which no Nike products were shown. 

Year 1980 – By this year, Nike had attained 50% market share in the U.S. athlete shoe market, and the company went public in December of that year.

Year 1988 – Wieden+Kennedy, Nike’s primary ad agency, has worked with Nike to create many prints and television advertisements, and Wieden+Kennedy remains Nike’s primary ad agency. It was agency co-founder Dan Wieden who coined the now-famous slogan “Just Do It” for a 1988 Nike ad campaign, which was chosen by Advertising Age on one of the top five ad slogans of the 20th century and enshrined in the Smithsonian Institute. Wall Stack was featured in Nike’s first “Just Do It” advertisement, which debuted on July 1, 1988.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s – During the 80s, Nike expanded its product line to encompass many sports and regions throughout the world. In 1990, Nike moved into its eight-building World Headquarters campus in Beaverton, Oregon. The First Nike retail store, dubbed Niketown, opened in Downtown Poland in November of that year. 

Starting 2000s – In 2002, Nike bought surf apparel company Hurley International from founder Bob Hurley. In 2003, Nike paid US$309 million to acquire sneaker company Converse. The Company was acquired in 2004 and soccer uniform maker Umbro in 2007. 

In order to refocus its business lines, Nike began divesting itself of some of its subsidiaries in the 2000s. It sold Starter in 2007 and Bauer Hockey in 2008. 

Year 2011 – In July 2011, environmental group Greenpeace published a report regarding water pollution impacting the Yangtze River emitted from a major textile factory operated by Nike supplier Youngor Group. 

Year 2013 – The company sold Umbro in 2012 and Cole Haan in 2013. On December 19, 2013, Nike’s quarterly profit rose due to a 13 percent increase in global orders for merchandise since April of that year. Future orders of shoes or clothes for delivery between December and April, rose to $10.4 billion. Nike shares (NKE) rose 0.6 percent to $78.75 in extended trading.

Year 2014 – One of the biggest strikes in mainland China took place at the Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings Dongguan shoe factory, producing amongst others for Nike. Yue Yuen did underpay an employee by 250 yuan (40.82 US Dollars) per month. The average salary at Yue Yuen is 3000 yuan per month. The factory employs 70,000 people. This practice took place for nearly 20 years.

Year 2016 – Phil Knight announced in mid-2015 that he would step down as chairman of Nike in 2016. He officially stepped down from all duties with the company on June 30, 2016.

Year 2018 – In a Company public announcement on March 15, 2018, Nike CEO Parker said Trevor Edwards, a top Nike Executive who was seen as a potential successor to the chief executive, was relinquishing his position as Nike’s brand president and would retire in August.

Also Nike reported earnings of US$1.933 billion, with annual revenue of US$36.397 billion, an increase of 6.0% over the previous fiscal cycle. Nike’s shares traded at over $72 per share, and its market capitalization was valued at over US$114.5 billion in October 2018.

Year 2019 – John Donahoe was announced as the next CEO, and succeeded Parker on January 13, 2020. In November 2019, the company stopped selling directly through Amazon, focusing more on direct relationships with customers.

Year 2020 – Nike reported a 5% drop in Chinese sales associated with stores’ closure due to COVID-19 outbreak. It was the first decrease in six years. At the same time, the company’s online sales grew by 36% during Q1 of 2020. Also, the sales of personal training apps grew by 80% in China.

Year 2021 – On June 24, 2021, during an earnings call with Investors, CEO John Donahoe stated that “Nike is a brand that is China and for China”, in response to a question about competing against Chinese brands. Nike acquired Datalogue, a New York based company focused on digital sales and machine learning technology.

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