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Nike Inc.: Developing an Effective Public Relations Strategy

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Nike INC.: Developing an Effective Public Relations Strategy

Thursday, February 9th/12


Nike Inc. started as a venture between Phil Knight, current CEO, and Bill Bowerman. At the time Knight was a student at the University of Oregon and Bowerman was the University track and field coach. The company, originally named Blue Ribbon Sports, did not officially get started until 1964 when Knight, who pursued a MBA at Stanford, graduated. Blue Ribbon Sports started making athletic footwear after the two men took a trip to Japan to source a manufacturer for the high performance athletic shoes that Bowerman had been designing. The first shoe created by the duo helped University of Oregon runners break track and field records. After those first initial models were produced Knight started selling the shoes out of the trunk of his car, as he would travel to various track and field events. He was also employed as a certified public accountant and professor at Portland State University during the early years of Blue Ribbon Sports. The first shoe under the Nike name was released in 1972, known as the Cortez, and it became extremely popular immediately. As the company, now known as Nike, progressed Knight and Bowerman started to invest largely in research and development and a dynamic organizational culture. One of the things that made them successful was the outsourcing of offshore manufacturing in Japan. In the mid 80’s Nike’s manufacturing focus started to shift to alternative locations for production, those being Taiwan and Korea. Following the industry trends they started a shift to Southeast Asia, and later Vietnam and Indonesia, where they started building brand new factories with the relationships they had forged with the Korean and Taiwanese owners and managers. According to Knight the subcontracting of the manufacturing facilities created a greater...

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