Subculture: Nike Inc.

In January of 1964 Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight first founded Blue Ribbon Sports a distribution company for a Japanese shoe company Onitsuka Tiger (Asics). The company was founded at the University of Oregon. Phil Knight was a track athlete while Bill Bowerman was his coach. The official name of the company, “Nike”, was created in 1971. The name Nike comes from Greek Mythology, Nike was the winged Greek Goddess of Victory. Most people who follow under the Nike sub-culture also know the origin of their creating of shoes. It started with a waffle iron in 1974, The Waffle Trainer, with Bill’s Waffle Iron. The Waffle Trainer soon became the best-selling training shoe in the country.

Over time the company has grown into the world’s largest athletic shoe companies. Expanding to several divisions under its brand and owning other popular shoe companies. The company has revolutionized the worlds outlook on a fitness shoe, and comfort with their shoe technology.

The Nike Swoosh is meant to represent the wing of Nike the Greek Goddess (“Nike History and Timeline“). According to “Nike History and Timeline,” The Swoosh was created by Caroline Davidson, a Portland State University student majoring in advertising in 1971. Davidson was in an accounting class that Phil Knight taught he asked her to create a logo for the side of a shoe (“Nike History and Timeline“). She created the Swoosh logo for $35.00, and in the spring of 72’ the first shoe with the Swoosh on it was created (‘Nike History and Timeline“).

The Nike brand slogan “Just Do It,” was first seen in 1988 at the end of a Nike commercial. In 1977 right before facing a firing squad he said the words “Lets Do It.” The killer was Gary Gilmore of Utah, he robbed and murdered two men in the previous year. Nikes John McEnroe for our first Nike endorsement contract. Their most popular endorsement happened in 1985 when NBA Rookie Michael Jordan was signed.

Individuals who identify with this sub-culture as a way of life in some cases a healthy athletic life style. Most of Nikes shoes are made for athletic use and have the most updated technology in shoes making most athletic people prefer Nike. Others share the trait of a “sneaker-head” or fashion based life style. Some of the most watched and bought shoes are Nikes, other than Nikes, Jordan’s are highly watched too. The Jordan brand is a subsidiary to Nike.

The process world be to become interested in sports or an exercise life style. Leading you to need athletic wear or supplies. Their company does not only create shoes but sporting gear and workout gear. Another process would be to have an interest in and become aware and alert to new shoe or other supplies coming out. On Nikes site they share release dates for products and information on the new products coming out.

Another part of identifying with the fashionable side of the Nike subculture includes “camp outs.” When there is a big shoe or Jordan release with the company over thousands of people camp out outside of a store that has the shoes. In most cases these shoes are very rare and the company only makes a small number of the shoes. Along with waiting in long lines for the shoes there are online releases.

Online releases are things that I do not usually participate in but my father does. He waits online until it is time for the shoe to release. He puts the shoe in his cart and continuously clicks the “purchase” button until he has successfully bought the shoes. My father does this with most of the shoes that he has gotten and he has several pair. He as well identifies with the Nike subculture which is another very well explanation as to why I identify with the Nike subculture.

In the 80s Nike was a very popular thing made by the hip hop culture mostly in New York. This called for Nike making Nike Air-max and other shoes that came with that era. Another part of the Nike subculture also has to do with Nike Skateboarding or Nike SB. This was created for people who identified with the skateboarding culture. They created a whole line of clothing shoes and skateboards for the sub culture. This was a very big move with the Nike sub culture and was the start of Nike expanding.

I classify myself with the Nike sub culture for a number of reasons. My experience is in both settings. Working in a shoe store and selling most of the product on a daily basis to others. I also have been in sports for most of my life which has caused me to be in need of sporting gear. Throughout the years I have tried other brands but Nike is the one I swear by when it comes to performance. The comfort and support of the shoes and gear works best for me when it comes to sports. I also identify with this sub-culture because I am intrigued by their fashion with shoes. I own several pair of Nike shoes that I use for fashion and comfort, also I have a great amount of Nike clothing too. Since I fell that I identified with this culture so well I decided to get a job at a shoe store where Nike is the best seller in shoes and clothing.

On a daily basis at my job I recommend shoes and or clothing to my customers. Subject to whatever they are in need of, I offer my help of fashion by Nike or performance by the company. Being part of this sub-culture has also altered what I want my major in college to be as well as what I wish for my career to be. Majors that I have thought of that will connect me to Nike are a major in Event Planning or a major in Marketing. I wish to go to school for Event planning and work as a Nike event planner. For a Marketing major I would like to work as a Global Marketer for the Nike company.

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