There are hundreds of sportswear brands in the world, but only a few of them managed to achieve the legendary status. The brand that stands out among the giants of the sportswear industry is, of course, Nike.
Slogan Nike “Just Do It” is familiar to all, simple but expressive, it managed to become almost the motto of a generation. Nike offers a huge range of sportswear and accessories for all sports, but sports shoes were and still are the most popular products of the brand.
But not only the high quality of the label’s apparel and footwear continues to attract loyal fans since the company was founded in 1964. Nike also managed to assert itself as a real lifestyle brand, becoming part of the youth culture, which actively uses contemporary art and music industry in its advertising campaigns.
The brand released many iconic sneaker models throughout its history, and all of them have fans all over the globe. But the most exciting story happened in 2023 when within several months, a group of experts was trying to make a decision whether Nike Vaporfly high-tech sneakers should be banned from official running events or not.
In recent years, marathon runners wearing new sneakers broke previous records by almost one and a half minutes.
In 2016 Nike released Vaporfly sneakers, and in spring 2019 – their improved version of ZoomX Vaporfly which the manufacturer calls its fastest sneakers. This effect is achieved through the use of a foam sole and a carbon fiber backing plate – as a result, according to the manufacturer, sneakers provide “the greatest energy recovery among Nike running shoes.
The line has become very popular among marathon runners but has caused a lot of controversy about where the line goes, after which the use of high-tech shoes becomes dishonest. The athletes in Nike sneakers are performing so well that many people believe they have an unfair advantage. Almost a sneakers-doping scandal.
Kenya’s Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoga broke the world record for the men’s marathon in 2018 in the customized Vaporfly Elite: his time – 2 hours 1 minute 39 seconds – was 78 seconds better than the previous record. In October 2019, his compatriot Brigitte Cosgate improved the world record for women by 81 seconds (2 hours, 14 minutes and 4 seconds) in the Vaporfly Next. In the same October, Eliud Kipchoga was the first person to run a marathon in less than two hours – again in Nike, but in the prototype of a new model AlphaFly, made especially for him. The record, however, was not recognized – the race was not official.
A statistical study has shown that athletes in Nike Vaporify sneakers run 4% faster than in conventional sneakers. In the end, the sneakers escaped the ban, but control over the athletes’ shoes will be tightened during the Tokyo Olympic Games year.
On January 31, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) set new rules for sneakers used in competitions. Professional runners will no longer be able to wear sneakers that contain more than one carbon plate, have a sole height of 40 millimeters and were on public sale for less than four months before the start of the competition.
It is also likely to introduce a stricter set of rules for new shoe models – for example, in the future companies will have to provide associations with prototypes of new sneakers. They can only be used in competitions if they are approved. So the influence of the brand spreads even on the laws!
Nike is a unique brand, which can create a world-leading trend out of everything. Its “Just Do It” motto is one of the examples. The famous slogan first appeared in the brand’s advertising campaign of 1988 and has many legends of how it was made up.
The most interesting version says that it was taken from Gary Gilmore — a murderer, sentenced to death in 1977, who a few minutes before the sentence execution shouted: “Let’s do it”. Dan Weiden, a spokesman for Weiden & Kennedy’s advertising agency, suggested to change it to “Just Do It”.
Another version says that the famous phrase was borrowed from American humanist Jerry Rubin. There are a few more legends about the iconic motto, but all sources agree on one thing: the slogan was created by the advertising agency Weiden & Kennedy.
Another iconic Nike feature is its logo. Created in 1971 by Carolyn Davison, it became an integral part of the brand, which fully reflects its progressive character and essence. You can read the full story of the Nike logo creation here.
Nike occupies 55% of the world’s sportswear market. The company produces not only high quality and innovative sports clothes and shoes but also accessories and gadgets.
The company sponsors various events and national teams have signed lifetime advertising contracts with the most famous sportsmen of the world: Michael Jordan, Lance Armstrong, Ronaldo, and many others.
The result of collaboration with Apple is the appearance of smart gadgets with Nike+ logo: watches, sneakers with the music-player and other advanced devices.
Nike has the ideal solutions to meet the needs of any sport, from football and basketball to tennis and golf. With a market capitalization of over $65.8 billion, Nike deserves its place on top of the list. It’s the world’s richest company, not only financially, but also in terms of the number of fans. That’s why it’s the global leader among the best sportswear accessory companies.
The giant corporation, which includes several dozens of successful brands, began with an ambitious student idea to change the world. And he succeeded – thanks to his constant loyalty to sports traditions, constant improvement of technology, love for innovation and a never-ending fighting spirit. Nike pays great attention to details in both design and quality and not only follows the latest trends but creates them.