Nike’s Brand Value

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Nike is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. Across the globe, young and old alike wear merchandise from this iconic company. The question thus arises, how much exactly is the Nike brand worth? As someone who is thinking about earning a sport management online degree, the answer to that question might be of interest to you.

Nike’s Rank on Forbes‘ Most Valuable Brands List

Image via Flickr by TheMachinePhotography

According to Forbes’ list of The World’s Most Valuable Brands, Nike falls in 16th place, with a brand value of $29.6 billion. Most of the first 15 companies on the list exist in the technology sector. Nike is the top-ranked apparel brand. Adidas, the only other apparel brand in the top 100, ranked as the 75th most valuable brand in the world.

How did Forbes put its list together? It began with a collection of 200 global brands, each of which has a significant presence in the United States. This meant some major international brands, including Alibaba and Vodafone, were excluded from Forbes’ calculations. Therefore, the list is not a reliable resource for anyone who wants to know the true rankings of the world’s most valuable brands. However, it still provides accurate data about the value of some of the biggest brands on the planet. The list takes into account revenue and earnings before taxes for each brand.

Nike’s Place on Other Lists

Forbes’ estimates place Nike among the top 20 brands in the world, but it doesn’t have such dominance on other lists from Forbes.

  • Nike is ranked 258th in Sales on Forbes’ Global 2,000 list.
  • It is ranked 132nd in Profits on Forbes’ Global 2,000 list.
  • It is ranked 88th overall among America’s Top Publicly Traded Companies.
  • It is ranked 155th among America’s Best Employers.

None of the above numbers might seem particularly impressive, but it is important to note Nike’s place on yet another list, one that has a special place in the sports world. Forbes’ Sports Money Index, which ranks all of the most valuable and influential brands, teams, athletes and agencies in sports, puts Nike in the No. 1 spot overall.

The Sports Money Index does more than consider a sports entity’s monetary value. It takes into account the connections each entity has with other powerful names in sports. Nike’s connections, including its sponsorship agreements, give it true dominance in the global sports universe.

Secrets to Nike’s Success

Anyone who is involved in sport marketing would do well to take note of the factors that contribute to Nike’s undeniable success as a favorite brand among athletes worldwide.

Successful Branding

Nike’s swoosh logo stepped on the scene in 1971. Phil Knight was just getting his new brand underway, and he needed a name that would resonate with shoppers. Knight suggested the name Dimension Six for the burgeoning brand, but the company’s employees disliked the name. The brand already had the beautiful swoosh logo, which was designed by company employee Carolyn Davidson.

Soon after that, another employee, Jeff Johnson, had a dream about Nike, who was the Greek goddess of victory. Research showed that brands with an “exotic” letter, such as K, tended to be more successful. Therefore, Nike and the swoosh logo came together and were soon inseparable.

The logo is simple, it signifies speed and it is easy to remember. However, according to Complex, “Though it’s now one of the most recognizable logos in the world, the design wasn’t a big hit at first.” Citing information from a graphic design expert, the Complex article went on: “Bierut explains that Nike’s good products, coupled with smart marketing tactics, is what made the Swoosh represent more than just ‘Nike’—it soon represented ‘the idea of athletic achievement.'”

Inspirational Marketing

Nike’s name and logo in themselves carry an inspirational connotation, but the brand takes that even further with its marketing campaigns. As noted by 2020 Consultants, “The ‘Just Do It’ campaign was launched in 1988, leading to Nike overtaking Reebok in sales and popularity the following year and continuing to grow in the years to come.” The campaign has a serious but motivational approach to sports, giving it universal appeal.

A Competitive Marketplace

A Business Insider article noted, “Nike is facing competition from companies like Under Armour, New Balance, Adidas and lululemon. The arms race has led to a rush of innovation and products that consumers can’t resist.”

This innovation and competition have both led to success for Nike’s products. According to Who What Wear, Nike’s most successful shoe launch ever was for the Space Jam XI, which launched in 2016 but was named after the 1996 movie featuring Michael Jordan. The shoe retailed for $220 and sold out very quickly. However, many other designs from the brand have also found success, including shoes that feature Flyknit material, which has a sock-like feel.

A Focus on Exercise

It isn’t just professional athletes who flock to Nike products. Citing data from Morgan Stanley, Business Insider noted that the number of people who participate in running events has increased by an average of 9 percent every year since 2005. Young people place much emphasis on the value of exercise for health, and they need appropriate apparel to stay fit.

Learning From Nike’s Success

Nike’s powerful presence in sports is thanks to the brand’s innovation, smart marketing and well-established connections. Although the brand has had its challenges, including a sweatshop scandal in the 1990s, it has again and again proven that it is a solid business that can obtain and retain consumers.

If you choose to pursue a career in sport marketing, it might behoove you to learn from Nike and similar brands that have established themselves among athletes around the world. Further education can be the key to launching your career. Visit the Adelphi University Master of Science in Sport Management program to learn more.