Nike is the largest seller. of athletic footwear, athletic apparel, and other athletic gear in the world, with about 30 percent market share worldwide. Nike markets its products under its own brand, as well as Nike Golf, Nike Pro, Air Jordan, Team Starter, and subsidiaries, including Bauer, Cole Ha;IO, Hurley International, and Converse. As of 2009, the company sells its products through a mix of independent distributors, licensees, and subsidiaries in approximately 120 countries worldwide. Nike has from an $8,000 company in 1963 to a company with revenues of$19.65 billion for the year ended May 31, 2008. In 2008, Nike spent an enormous amount of money, more than a billion dollars, on advertising, endorsements, and sales promotion. In order to make sure that this money is being spent properly, Nike relies on marketing research. It has shown a history of innovation and inspiration in its marketing and is quick to adapt to the changing consumer and the world of sports. Nike has used marketing research in understanding where the future growth lies. A recent example is Nike’s shift from marketing in the more traditional sports (basketball and running) to other sports (golf and soccer), where it has not been as strong.
Marketing research surveys revealed that the awareness of Nike among soccer and golf players was low, and Nike decided to work on increasing these numbers. Nike has decided that the money needed for licenses in its strong areas can be better spent in other areas where Nike does not have the brand awareness.
growth goals, it must appeal to multiple market segments. Based on marketing research, Nike divided the market into three different groups: the ultimate athlete, the athletics participant, and the consumer who is influenced by sports culture. The first segment is the professional athletes. The second constituency is the participants, those who participate in sports and athletic activities but do not see themselves as athletes or as being part of the larger
sport. The third segment comprises those who influence others and are influenced by the world of sports. These three ‘different constituencies form three different and Nike uses very different strategies for each,
Nike has always been an aggressive user of marketing research and this has been shown in its attack on the European market. It decided to concentrate on different sports in order to reach European consumers. Americans love baseball. And football. And basketball. But Europe’s favorite game is soccer. Nike placed its focus on major sporting events (World Cups and Olympics) and celebrity athletes that are relevant to tl’ie European consumer. Marketing research in the form of focus groups and survey research revealed that the best positioning for Nike shoes was one that enhanced performance in the sport. Through massive advertising campaigns, it has been able to change
the perception of its products from fashion to performance, and in the process increase sales dramatically.
Because of these methods, the Nike logo is recognized by 9-7.percent of U.S. citizens, and its sales have soared as a result. However, Nike faces a new concern: that it has lost its traditional image of being a smaller, innovative company. It also faces future obstacles in maintaining brand equity and brand meaning. Continued reliance on marketing research will help Nike to meet these challenges, associate its brand with top athletes and performance, and enhance its image.