Sunday, March 15, 2009

Nike's impact on Society

Nike proves that the American Dream is not dead, it proves that a shoe company started out of the back of one of its founders cars can go on to become one of the most powerful and recognizable companies in the world.

The History of Nike

In 1964 Bill Bowerman, the legendary Oregon Track coach and one of his former runners Phil Knight founded Blue Ribbon Sports the predecessor to Nike. Blue Ribbon Sports began as a distributing company for Onitsuka Tiger a shoe company that would later become Asics. Knight began selling the shoes out of the back of his car at track meets and Bowerman began experimenting with making the shoes lighter and better In 1971 Blue Ribbon Sports broke off their relationship with Onitsuka Tiger, began making their own shoes. using their trade mark swoosh logo, and calling themselves Nike (History).
Shortly after this Bowerman pioneered a huge innovation in running shoes by creating a running shoe with a waffled bottom. This allowed the shoe to have more traction and be lighter. One of Bowerman's athletes at the University of Oregon Steve Prefontaine was one of the first athletes to endorse and wear the Nike line. Pre , a bronze medalist at the Munich Olympics and the U.S. record holder for all distances from 2,ooo meters to 10,000 meters helped Nike expand and grow until his tragic death in a car crash at the age of 24. Nike then sponsored the young Michael Jordan and Bo Jackson which helped popularize the Nike Brand in mainstream America. Nike also ran an extremely succesful advertising campaign with the motto "Just Do It ".
Throughout the 1990's Nike continued to grow and began an effort to expand into the sports of soccer and golf. In 1994 Nike began sponsoring individual soccer players and in 1995 began its sponsorship of the Brazilian national team, the most successful national team in soccer history. Nike now sponsors many of the world's best national teams in addition to many of the best club teams and individual players. In 1996 Nike began their sponsorship of Tiger Woods and a year later he won the Masters. Nike was also one of the only companies who stuck with Lance Armstrong as he battled against cancer. To repay Nike's loyalty to him Armstrong has stuck with the company throughout his career. Today Nike is one of the biggest and most successful corporations in the world, sponsoring many of the world's best athletes (History).

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Biographic Information

Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight created Nike in 1964 (History). The first major athlete to wear Nike products was the Olympic runner Steve Prefontaine, Olympic bronze medalist and U.S. record holder in every distance from 2,000 meters to 10000 meters (History). Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, and Carl Lewis all helped make Nike more popular in Mainstream America throughout the 1980's and 90's. Today Nike sponsors many big name athletes in all the major sports such as, Lebron James, Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, Ladainian Tomlinson, Derek Jeter, and Cristiano Ronaldo who all help to increase the brand's popularity (Rose).

Interview with Jordan Craig about the Nike Zoom Mutumbo and Nike Zoom Victory track spikes

Interview conducted at Kent State Track Meet
Q:How much do the Nike Zoom Mutumbo weigh?
A:These spikes weigh 92 grams.

Q: What are the spikes made out of?
A: The spikes are made out of a new flywire material that allows them to be both light and durable.

Q: What type of race are these spikes meant to be worn in?
A: These spikes are meant to be worn in any event 5,000 meters or over but even 400 meter runners have bought them because the spikes are so light they feel they will gain an advantage over their competition.

Q: What is the difference between the Zoom Victory and the Zoom Mutumbo track spikes?
A: The Zoom Victory weigh slightly more and are designed for events 800m and up.

Q: How much do the Nike Zoom Victory weigh?
A: The Zoom Victory weigh 100 grams.

Q: Are the Zoom Victory also made out of flywire?
A: No the Zoom Victory uses lightweight Vectran Thread.

Q: Do any other companies make spikes that are as light as either the Zoom Victory or Zoom Mutumbo.
A: No Nike usually makes the best spikes and most runners wear and prefer Nike spikes although they may not wear Nike running shoes.

Nike Technology

Nike shoes are made from a combination of carbon rubber and vinyl materials. The shoe making process begins when dye machines stamp the vinyl and carbon rubber with dye in the shapes of the various parts of different shoes. These shapes are then cut out. After this process the various parts of the shoe are stiched together. The insole is then added to the upper part of the shoe and finally the top and bottom of the shoe are stitched together. Nike first began producing their own shoes in 1971. Nike's designs for their shoes and other apparel are created in America but the actual job of making the merchandise is contracted out to factories in Asia because of the cheaper labor available there (Running Shoe). Nike has also started using a new super light material called flywire to make running spikes and basketball shoes (Jordan Craig).

Nike Art

In 2001 Nike came up with the idea for Nikeid a store whiche lets you customize shoes, equipment and apparel and order it off of
Nike also has had many succesful and award winning advertisements including an Emmy Award Winning Commerical Called the Morning After which shows what a morning jog would be like if all the predictions about Y2K came true (Morning After). The second commercial is titled Courage, it was shown during this summer's Beijing Olympics. This commercial shows many of the famous athletes who Nike have sponsored since the foundation of the company in 1964.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Geography of Nike

Nike's world headquarters which are located on a huge campus in Beaverton Oregon, a suburb of Portland Oregon contain a soccer field , football field, and full size outdoor running track (Locations).
The first Blue Ribbon Sports store was located in Santa Monica California (History).

View Larger Map

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Works Cited

."History and Heritage." 3/6/09. Nike. 14 Mar 2009
Craig, Jordan. Personal interview. 3/7/09.
Rose, Lacey. "The World's best paid athletes." 3 March 2006. msnbc. 11 March 2009
The Morning After. Dir. Spike Jonze. 2000.
Nike Courage Commercial. Perf. Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Lance Armstrong, Steve Prefontaine, Ryan Pistorius. 2008.
Kolecki, Catherine. "Running Shoe." 14 Mar 2009 .
"Locations United States." Nike Inc.. 16 Mar 2009