The only tick that mattered: Nike’s case study

nike case study,

We all have owned a pair of Nike running shoes at some point in our lives. So, through this short case study of Nike, we attempt to jog your memory from where this brand started and how it is such a big success. 

History of Nike

The idea of this sportswear behemoth started way back in the 1950s when a track coach named Bill Bowerman at the University of Oregon decided to ‘just do it.’ He was looking for a competitive edge for his runners and thought using different shoes would enhance their performances. 

Bill tried to contact shoe manufacturers to give life to his idea, but that failed. Phil Knight was a runner at Oregon in 1955, in Bill’s team. When Phil graduated from Oregon, he acquired his MBA from Stanford University and wrote a paper on how top-quality shoes can be made in Japan and cheaper. He contacted a company in Japan and became a distributor of Tiger shoes in the United States of America. 

When Phil showed these shoes to his old coach, instead of buying that pair, both of them shook hands and created a partnership to create better running shoes. In 1964, this partnership gave rise to Blue Ribbon Sports, which was the foundation of Nike. The first Nike line of footwear was unveiled to the world in 1972.  

How does Nike do it?

Nike has always been one step ahead of its competition, and it is mainly due to how it responds to the market trends and changes in consumer preferences. 

The company aims to cater to the needs of the customers and aims to develop high levels of customer satisfaction and build brand loyalty. 

How efficient your product distribution is directly affects your sales and profits. Nike distributes its products on a different level. Specific distributors provide high-priced premium products, and low-price products are sold at high discounted retail stores. 

Nike launched its e-commerce website in April 1999 and offered 65 styles of sports shoes to the US market to become the first sports shoes brand to have its e-commerce website. 

Apart from distribution, Nike attracts the top celebrity athletes from their respective sports, like 4-time NBA champion basketball player LeBron James, 5-time Ballon D’or Winner footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, golf legend Tiger Woods, and many others. 

You can also check this out From Food to Success: Journey of Zomato

This helps Nike create a high level of brand awareness as these athletes have millions of followers. Besides getting these high-profile athletes on board, Nike advertises on a large scale but rarely mentions the product or brand they are selling. Instead, they focus on ‘selling a vision.’ This is made possible only because you see the Nike name on so many sporting platforms; it has made it one of the most recognisable brands in the world. 


This brief case study on Nike aims to highlight the journey of the world’s biggest and most recognised brands. However, what started as a vision, is not something we see on everyone’s feet.

With the help of product distribution, product design, advertising, and marketing, Nike cements its position at the top of the charts.

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