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Bill Bowerman said this a couple of decades ago. The guy was right. It defines how he viewed the world, and it defines how Nike pursues its destiny. Ours is a language of sports, a universally understood lexicon of passion and competition. A lot has happened at Nike in the years since we entered the industry, most of it good, some of it downright embarrassing. But through it all, we remain totally focused on creating performance opportunities for everyone who would benefit, and offering empowering messages for everyone who would listen.

We feel lucky to have a genuine, altruistic reason to be: the service of human potential. That's the great benefit of sports, and we're glad to be in the middle of it.

What started with a handshake between two running geeks in sleepy Eugene, Oregon, is now the world's most competitive sports and fitness company. The world headquarters is in Beaverton, Oregon. The Pacific Northwest is Nike's hometown, but like so many ambitious souls, we have expanded our horizons to every corner of the world. Nike employs approximately 29,000 people, and every one of them is significant to our mission of bringing inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.

Along the way, Nike acquired some great companies that extend our reach within and beyond sports:

Cole Haan, based in Maine, sells dress and casual footwear and accessories for men and women under the brand names of Cole Haan, g Series and Bragano.
Nike Bauer Hockey, based in New Hampshire, manufactures and distributes hockey ice skates, apparel and equipment, as well as equipment for in-line skating, and street and roller hockey.
Hurley International, based in California, designs and distributes a line of action sports apparel for surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding, and youth lifestyle apparel and footwear.
Converse, based in Massachusetts, designs and distributes athletic and casual footwear, apparel and accessories.

Exeter Brands Group, based in New York, includes the Starter, Team Starter and Asphalt brand names and is the master licensee of the Shaq and Dunkman brands. The Exeter Brands Group is devoted to designing and marketing athletic footwear and apparel for the value retail channel.

As small as we feel, the Nike family is a fairly vast enterprise. We operate on six continents. Our suppliers, shippers, retailers and service providers employ close to 1 million people. The diversity inherent in such size is helping Nike evolve its role as a global company. We see a bigger picture today than when we started, one that includes building sustainable business with sound labor practices. We retain the zeal of youth yet act on our responsibilities as a global corporate citizen.

If you have a body, you are an athlete. And as long as there are athletes, there will be Nike.

Posted on Apparel Search September 2007  Learn more at the Nike website

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