Founded on January 25, 1964, , as Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS), by a University level track athlete Phil Knight and his coach Bill Bowerman, Nike, Inc. is an American multinational corporation (MNC) engaged in the design, development, manufacturing and worldwide marketing and sales of sports products - footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories and services.
BRS officially became Nike, Inc. on May 30, 1971, taking its name from Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. The company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, in the Portland metropolitan area.
Nike, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, is one of the world's largest suppliers of athletic shoes and apparel globally with a market capitalisation of more than $70 billion. Nike's iconic Swoosh logo and its registered trademark punchline 'Just DO It' is recognized globally. It is one of the most valuable sports brand globally.
Nike has been present in India now for over two decades, since 1996. Nike entered India was through a seven-year licence agreement with Sierra Industrial Enterprises. This was later done away with and Nike India became a 100% subsidiary of the US parent company. It currently operates through a network of local distributors and retail partners.
Nike markets its products under its own brand, as well as Nike Golf, Nike Pro, Nike+, Air Jordan, Nike Blazers, Air Force 1, Nike Dunk, Air Max, Foamposite, Nike Skateboarding, and subsidiaries including Brand Jordan, Hurley International and Converse. The products range is available for both Men and Women.
Innovation has been the cornerstone of Nike's products and services globally. Starting from its specially designed running shoes to recently launched Nike+ training club app, each Nike product has an stamp of innovative designing and skilful craftsmanship.
Indian sportswear market is estimated to be more than Rs 6,000 crore growing at steady 13-14% every year. In the attractive sportswear segment, Nike competes with other global players like Puma, Reebok and Adidas in India. As opposed to Nike, Puma and Reebok work through Franchisee and local supplier agreements. With an annual revenue of over ~800 crore - it trails behind Puma and Adidas in India. Nike's India operations have not been profitable owing to high marketing costs incurred and its accumulated losses in India run to the tune of over ~550 Crore.
Nike also runs own stores in India in a Franchisee Model and has more than 400 stores (Puma has ~350 stores, Adidas has ~500 stores and Reebok has ~250 stores) pan India. Apart from these franchisee stores, Nike products are available through multi-brand retail outlets and large format stores like Lifestyle & Shoppers Stop. Nike's overall retail presence is in more than 4,000 stores across India. The brands also sells out of all leading e-commerce portals including Amazon, Snapdeal, Flipkart, Jabong etc.
However, with the approval for 100% FDI in Single Brand retail in India - Nike was one of the first sportswear brand to put in an application for opening 100% owned flagship stores in India in the end of 2014. The government, however, turned down the proposal, as the single-brand retail policy did not have room for a combination of businesses.
Of late, there has been a change in the government’s approach towards single-brand retail, seeking to attract major international brands. Nike’s second application has been filed by its subsidiary Nike European Operations Netherlands BV in July 2015. Around the same time, Adidas also applied for operating owned outlets.
In July 2015, Nike opened its largest store in India at Brigade Road, Bengaluru, in partnership with SSIPL. The 7,355 sq. ft. store is spread across three level and boasts of multiple services for the runners such as gait analysis. It is also a hub for the Nike+ Run Club in Bangalore.
Globally, the company operates retail stores under the Niketown name.
Nike sponsors many high-profile athletes and sports teams around the world. Their Indian brand ambassadors include leading sportsperson and bollywood stars. Indian cricket team's newly crowned captain, Virat Kohli, cricketer R Ashwin, footballer Sunil Chhetri, Squash player Joshna Chinnappa and bollywood star Deepika Padukone are all Nike's brand ambassadors. Nike has long been sponsoring the Indian Cricket team and also sponsors various running, sports and adventure events. Nike's 'Bleed Blue' campaign with the Indian Cricket team before the 2015 World Cup gathered massive fan following.