Comparing Nike and Adidas
Historical Development of the Two Companies When we see the ever so popular swoosh, we all automatically think Nike, but before there was this swoosh there was hard work, motivation, and development. Nike began with just two men. The first being Bill bowman who was a track and field coach at University of Oregon. He was always trying to find different ways of improvement for his runners, one of which experimenting with running shoes, but the shoe manufacturers of the 1950’s rejected his ideas. The second gentleman is Phil Knight who was in fact a track runner who enrolled in Oregon’s program in 1955. He wrote a paper proposing that shoes could be manufactured in Japan, and after no answer to his letters he took a chance and made a call to Tiger manufacturing. He persuaded the manufacturer of Tiger shoes to let him, Phil Knight, be a distributor of these in the United States. As he received the first set of samples he sent them to Bill Bowman, and Bill asked him to partner up with him and propose his shoe design to Tiger. After this partnership was established in 1964, Blue Ribbon Sports was established and they placed their first order of 300 pairs of shoes. As Knight sold the shoes out of the trunk of his car, Bowman was ripping apart the other shoes determined to make different designs. Seeing as in the two of them also had full time jobs, they hired their first employee, Jeff Johnson. Jeff Johnson is the man behind the creation of the first product brochures, print ads, marketing materials, and the shooting of the photographs for the magazine. Johnson is responsible for creating a mail order system, opening the first Blue Ribbon sports retail store, and managed the receiving and shipping. At this point in time Bowman and Knight were ready to break away from Tiger, because the Blue Ribbon Sports and Tiger were beginning to conflict. In 1971, Johnson even came up with the name Nike. They then selected the “swoosh” symbol that was designed by a graphic design student at Portland State University. After the new brand name, and symbol they began to look for an athlete to endorse their Nike brand. His name was Steve Prefontaine, and during his time competing, he never lost a race at him home track in the one mile race, this gained Nike lots of exposure and attention. Prefontaine became an ambassador of Nike after he graduated, challenging brand design of Nike, and he often would send shoes to prospective runners with letters of encouragement. He unfortunately died at the age of 24, in 1975 but is considered to be “the soul of Nike”.
It was in the late 1980’s that Nike became a publicly traded company after completing its IPO. Also during this time their cross training business had boomed. Then in the 1990’s, Nike signed several individual players that would become the winners of the World cup Brazilian National team, and then in 1995, Nike signed the entire team, and designed them a distinct uniform. Nike has come a long way, even from the millennium when they did their “Secret Tournament” where they created a great consumer experience for the support of the World cup in 2002. Nike achieved many things other brands did not. Today Nike still continues to seek new and innovative products, and creative communication with their consumers, to continuously grow in their industry.
Going back a few years before the 1950’s, back to 1924 we may take a look at the historical development of another well-known brand, PUMA. It first started with two brothers, Rudolf and Adolf Dassler that founded Dassler Brother Shoe Company in Herzogenaurach, Germany. A few years latter into 1935, Jesse Owens wins four gold medals at the Olympic Games supporting the Dassler shoes. This was not the only thing won in total there were seven gold medals, five bronze medals, two world records, and three Olympic records won and set by athletes that were all…