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Just Do It: The Nike Spirit in The Corporate World

Autor:   •  April 16, 2014  •  Essay  •  1,558 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,121 Views

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Just do it: the Nike spirit in the corporate world

Question 1: a brief 1-2 paragraph synopsis of the primary topic area of the book.

The author, Donald Katz, introduces the idea of “the most powerful force in sports is not a football or baseball team. It is a shoe company” (Katz, 1995). The main character in the book is Phil Knight, who was a Stanford MBA and spent some time working at the Price Waterhouse accounting firm. Later he imported Japanese running shoes and built it into a $4 billion company. Nike’s competitors are Reebok and Adidas. During the six years before Michael Jordan retired, the company’s yearly sales expanded from one billion to four billion, and profits rose by over 900%. Therefore, Nike was able to increase their influential role in the management by negotiating endorsement deals involving famous athletics, such as Jim Courier, Andre Agassi, Deion Sanders, Alonzo Mourning, and Pete Sampras. The author also spends a great deal of time describing Nike’s behind-closed-doors negotiations with the NBA and the NCAA. Nike is portrayed as “a dream machine that seeks nothing less than to define culture through the power of sports” (Katz, 1995). Nike’s employees believe in the company's mission: to improve the performance of serious athletes. The author shows how Nike spent more than $50 million during 1993 to create the spectacular imagery and marketing campaigns that made Jordan, Barkley, and Bo Jackson international icons.

The book also describes the development of shoes and campaigns for Air Jordan, cross-training ("Bo Knows"), tennis and other product lines. On the other hand, the author mentions briefly about Nike was studied as one of the premier corporate practitioners of the art and science of marketing, but the company was constantly attacked by labor groups, sports purists, and journalists.

Question 2: an in-depth discussion of the content of the book, highlighting particular topic areas that yielded useful insight to you and how (if at all) these topic areas overlapped with ideas discussed in class.

The first topic that yields useful insight to me is the right timing decision that Nike management makes to introduce their marketing campaign for “Bo knows.” In the book, the author spent a great deal of time describing Nike’s campaign featuring famous athletics including Jankson Bo. He was the first athlete in the modern era to play both professional baseball and football in the same year. Nike chose him to be the spokesman of “Bo knows” campaign for Nike cross-training shoes in 1989 and 1990. Nike was facing critical criticism from Olympic Committee that Michael Jordan and other athletics in Nike team refused to wear Roobok sweats. Nike management looked outside the firm and asked what might happy in the sport industry. The management quickly creates an opportunity to switch public attention


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