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Nike is back on top because it grew up, but Knight clea

nike air max uk But it's more than that. Nike courts controversy. For instance, Nike donated $25,000 to Tonya Harding's defense fund in 1994, in part to tweak Reebok, the sponsors of Nancy Kerrigan. Nike's analog isn't the conservative team owner, but the cocky superstar who sets the agenda and is so wildly popular he knows he can get away with just about anything. "Nike is at times feisty, or counterestablishment, deliberately," says Spence, the business school dean. "That's partly Phil and partly the athletic culture Nike is modeled after."Reebok's blindside tackle gave Knight pause. Until then, Nike prided itself on being something of a counterculture corporation. Irreverence and risk-taking were prized; the athletic establishment and corporate wisdom were disdained.

nike air max sale uk But when Nike was dislodged from the top, he realized that his fly-by-Knight approach would no longer work. Knight streamlined the company (laying off 600 of the company's 2,000 employees) and reorganized Nike along more conventional, corporate lines. Where Knight was once famous for governing by instinct, today Nike studies reams of statistics and convenes a focus group before designing a new shoelace. The marketing budget grew, and so did the emphasis on design, Nike's euphemism for fashion.

nike air max outlet uk Nike is back on top because it grew up, but Knight clearly misses his company's adolescent days. "At first, we couldn't be establishment, because we didn't have any money," Knight says. "We were guerrilla marketers, and we still are, a little bit. But, as we became No. 1 in our industry, we've had to modify our culture and become a bit more planned." In keeping with Nike's collegiate, fraternal atmosphere, the company's sprawling complex was officially dubbed the Campus. Employees reported to work in sneakers and shorts, partied hard and made decisions on the run. "We had no master plan," Knight acknowledges. "It was totally seat-of-the-pants." As if to underscore the fact that he wasn't a typical CEO, Knight once showed up at a company event in drag.

nike air max online sale Realigned, Nike replaced Reebok at the top of the charts in 1989 and has remained there ever since. Nike outdistanced its competitors by moving beyond basketball, tennis and track to control the women's and outdoor markets. (Nike also owns Cole-Haan, the dress-shoe manufacturer, and Canstar Sports Inc., the world's largest hockey equipment company.) Nike still takes risks and challenges the sports establishment, but much of the criticism leveled against the company has quieted. Nike has become a major player in promoting women's sports as well as funneling money into inner-city sports programs.

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