Nike and the Building of a Global Brand

When I was in high school, my English teacher gave out an assignment to perform a speech in front of the entire class. We were given the freedom to talk about anything we wanted to, as long as we kept everyone awake during the presentation. As a grade 10 student in the 90’s, there wasn’t much more to think about other than music, girls, sports and clothes. The latter always had a bearing on the type of social status you’d have during your high school career. What you wore and how you wore it was the difference between sitting at the popular table at lunch and sitting next to the guy who ate paste. So weather it was a hoody, ball shorts or kicks, there would always be a Swoosh on my ensemble. It only made sense for my speech to be about the mighty conglomerate Nike Corporation.

It was the perfect assignment in my eyes. I loved Nike and everything about it. Come to think of it, I was probably the ideal consumer in the eyes of former Nike CEO Phil Knight when he launched the company back in 1971. A young, impressionable teenager who would use his part-time job money to buy $200 J’s because Spike Lee said, “It’s gotta be the shoes!”

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