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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the following for permission to reproduce copyright material:

‘Getting to know you’ (Acreman, S. and Pegram, B.), originally published in Research Magazine, November 1999, pp. 36–41.

In some instances we have been unable to trace the owners of copyright material, and we would appreciate any information that would enable us to do so.
Case 1

Nike sprints ahead of the competition?

Nike was founded by Bill Bowerman, the legendary University of Oregon track and field coach, and Phil Knight, a University of Oregon business student and middle-distance runner under Bowerman. The partnership began in 1962 as Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS); their first-year sales totalled $8,000. In 1972 BRS changed its name to Nike, named after the Greek winged goddess of victory. Nike employs 22,000 people worldwide, from Nike World Headquarters in Oregon. With 1,500 employees working at the Laakdal Customer Service Centre, Belgium has the most employees of any EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) country. The Netherlands is a close second, with 1,200 employees working at the European HQ in Hilversum. Nike is the number one athletic footwear company in the US and the number two American brand in terms of name recognition among overseas consumers, a status shared with IBM and second only to Coca-Cola. This high degree of recognition is probably one of the main reasons Nike has been so immensely successful. For the 2001 fiscal year sales in the US were $4,819m, up 2% from 2000. 51% of Nike revenue is generated by sales in the US. In Europe, sales were $2,585m, up 7% from 2000. Despite their healthy levels of growth, analysts forecast a change in Nike’s future. Although the company remains well managed, experts feel the company will have to work harder to grow in the future. Consumers are becoming less than enthralled with...

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