My final week at Nike I had the remainder of my interviews and started working on my presentation for Nike. I met with Matt Park, the VP of NFL, MLB, and college football and baseball apparel and some engineers who work on creating and testing Nike golf balls. Meeting with Matt was really cool because he’s in charge of so much apparel that I see frequently. While he also, like many other Nike employees, said that Under Armor is the main competitor, he pointed out that Under Armor has a similar plan and foundation to that of Nike’s, which I did not know. He described the relationship between Nike and Under Armor in a way that really clicked with me. Under Armor is becoming the number two under Nike. While Nike might have more of the market share and consumers currently, the tables could turn in the near future and Under Armor would go up to number one and Nike would drop to number two. The comparison Matt used was when Nokia was making phones and everyone owned one and then Apple, who already made computers, came out with a phone and took over a large portion of the market share and consumers. While there is no large concern that this will happen to Nike anytime soon, this is one of the reasons that Nike continues to push the limits and always try to stay ahead of the curve and constantly create new and improved products that appeal the most to consumers.
This is a picture of the front of the Nike Golf Clubhouse, the buidling where I spent most of my time working and where the office I was using was.
This will be my final week at Nike's Global Sports Marketing division. I've started a new project this week, which I'm quite excited about. I will be making a template for my mentor to use as a means for compliance updates. I was very excited to get to work today, because I found a large banner welcoming NCAA Kentucky star Julius Randle (top ten draft prospect). He tweeted earlier today that he signed with nike, along with posting a photo of him standing in front of his welcome banner and a "You can't handle Randle" T-shirt. I've attached both photos for you to view. Unfortunately, I didn't see Mr. Randle today, but find it cool nonetheless that he made the decision to sign with Nike. My campus advisor, Ginia, was able to visit me and my mentor this afternoon for lunch and a brief tour around Nike's campus.
I am sad that this will be my last week at Nike. I've had a truly wonderful experience and have learned more than I ever expected too. I hope that I will be able to have an experience like this later in my life.
Check out the photos-looks like Randle and I had similar ideas.
This past week at Nike I interviewed more Nike employees for my project of trying to figure out where Nike is winning with the youth demographic, where Nike is losing to the competition, and where there is room for Nike to improve. One interview that I found especially interesting was with a man who works for the Jordan line of Nike. He is a design study director, meaning he supports/manages designers and everything around helping designers reach their full potential. I did not realize how large Jordan is. If Jordan was its own company separate from Nike, it would be worth 1.6 billion dollars, that’s more than companies like New Balance and Sketchers according to the man I interviewed. While this fact surprised me, I was really amazed when I found out that Nike Basketball and Jordan own at least 90% of the market share in the US. When I found this out, I was thinking, how could there still be competition if Nike already owns of 90% of the market share, but the Jordan design director told me while Nike is pleased with how much of the market share they have, they need to continue to push the limits and come out with new and leading edge designs and technologies. That comment of continually wanting to push the limits and create new and better products even if the old products are at the top has come up in most of the interviews I’ve done so far and I think it’s one of the reasons that Nike does so well as a company. However, according to the man I interviewed from Jordan, Adidas has been trying to grow their basketball line, but aren’t doing as well as they’d like because their star player, Derrick Rose, has been injured. Also, Reebok has been bringing back some of their “retro” basketball shoes from the 80’s and 90’s and those are selling pretty well and Under Armor has signed some NBA players as well, such as the Golden State Warrior’s Stephen Curry. One of the questions I ask people when I’m interviewing them for project is what do they think the youth consumer values most when they buy a Nike product (the options are style, performance, fit, color, and price for the most part). For Jordan, youth consumers value style and performance the most, according to my interview, and I definitely agree with that statement. Jordan makes both performance basketball shoes, and shoes for off the court as well. Jordan employees often do focus groups with young people who both do and don’t play basketball to find out the popular trends right now and see what youth consumers are looking for. I think this is a great way of staying connected with youth as well as keeping products as new and as popular as possible. To conclude, one story that the Jordan design director told me was that when Michael Jordan first Nike shoe had three colors on it and NBA regulations only allowed two, so Jordan was fined $5,000 dollars per game when he wore his Nike shoes. Nike soon absorbed this cost for him because he was doing extremely well and people bought Jordan shoes like crazy. Nike’s shoes for Jordan changed the NBA and helped create the sneaker culture that exists today.
This is an image of the first Nike shoe that Jordan wore.
I can’t believe my Senior Project is already half over! It has gone by much faster than I was expecting. I interviewed some Nike employees this week about my project (how is Nike doing with the youth demographic, where are they losing to the competition, and where could they be doing better) and heard a vast range of perspectives ranging from a woman who works from Hurley and Nike Skateboard, to a woman who works in Nike Golf Shoe Development, to a business consultant. Everyone was very helpful and gave me different insights on specific aspects of Nike. The lady from Hurley and Nike Skateboard pointed out something interesting to me that I hadn’t thought of, that it’s not that Nike is losing to a competitor, it’s that the market is untapped and Nike just hasn’t tapped into it. The lady from Nike Golf Shoe Development agreed with my thoughts that Nike Golf isn’t connecting with the youth demographic very much, but that’s partially because golf just isn’t a very large youth sport. However, she did point out that Puma does a good job targeting youth golfers by having some young golfers as their signed athletes, and actually having shoe and clothing lines that were created for young golfers, not just simplified adult products. The business consultant lady helped me come up with more concrete questions to ask the people I interview and also taught me what a value map is. A value map is a type of graph that on the y-axis is labeled (low-high) and aspects of apparel or shoes that people might value on the x-axis. So for my project, I would put values such as style, color, fit, performance, and price on the value map and then mark on the graph how important I found each value was for youth consumers. In the next two weeks I’ll continue to meet with people and see how other branches of Nike are doing at targeting the youth demographic.
The second image is the picture of the desk I use most of the time. One of the laptops is mine and the other one is Nike's.
I've started a new project at Nike this week. For the rest of the week I will be updating my mentor, Craig Masback, on the performance of the all the Nike runners that are parts of three Oregon track clubs. The three clubs I will be focusing on are Oregon Project, Oregon Track Club Elite, and The Bowerman Athletic Club.
The Oregon Project is probably the most famous of the three for a couple of reasons. First, the group is coached by none other than Alberto Salazar. Salazar, now 55, was considered one of the best, if not the best, distance runners of his time. Oregon Project attracts some of the world's elite distance runners. Galen Rupp and Mo Farah to name a few. The club was originally invented by Thomas Clarke (an old Nike VP) who was supposedly unhappy with the performance of American long-distance runners in the Olympics. Now, the Oregon Project is situated in Portland. Many of the runners live in a home which simulates high-altitude through hi-tec filters that take a bit of oxygen from the air. This in turn gives the runners the effect of high-altitude training, without actually living in Colorado, Utah, etc. At first, Oregon Project was established for American runners only, but now has Nike runners from other countries. Mo Farah, who runs for the UK, is one such example.
Anyways, back to my project. My job is to research each runner on the three clubs' rosters and report their performances at recent T&F events to my mentor. For many American athletes, I can do this by simply glancing at their USA Track & Field profile, which will tell me times for many previous events. However, for foreign athletes, it is slightly more difficult. Because T&F is not as publicized (unless its the summer Olympics) as say, the NFL, finding performances information might be harder than expected.
Overall, a great second weekend at Nike Global Sports Marketing
Quick side note: I've noticed the amount of travel and phone calls that my mentor and his colleagues do and make. I would definitely say that I've grown an appreciation for that.
Link for golf ball image: ww1.prweb.com/prfiles/2011/02/14/8137681/prw_GL048_20XI_X_Cutaway.jpg
This morning I went to a DocIt training session in the legal department's library in DF. DocIt is essentially the application Nike's entire legal department uses in order to share files across the globe and company. It works a lot like Dropbox or Google Drive in that if one person adds, changes, deletes, etc. documents/pdfs, it changes for everyone else as well. The reason I needed to become familiar with DocIt is because I will be using it a lot to access some of the athlete contract templates.
After having lunch, I realized I had finished all the work I could complete for the day, so I paid my friend Will a little visit. His building is just about 100 yards or so from mine, so it really wasn't that far of a walk. On the side of the path that one must take to get around is a very beautiful manmade lake where the geese spend a lot of their time.
When I stopped by Will's cubicle, we got to take pictures with one of the torches used in Sochi this past winter thanks to Will's mentor Craig. I also learned more of what Will is doing for the Marketing Department, which you should definitely check out on the Senior Blogs when you have a moment.
To everyone who has kindly clicked on my Senior Project blog whether they wanted to or were told to by an adult:
Thank you again for reading about my blog!!!
From here until the end of Senior Projects, I will be posting the weekly entry that will be of considerable length, but I will also be posting smaller, more concise ones as well of things I've recently done or things I would like to share about my day. A quick disclaimer: due to the nature of the job, there is a good deal of confidentiality, so I won't be able to talk much about the details of the documents/spreadsheets I'll be reviewing.
I don't know if you got a chance to read about my first day in the Nike Legal department, but if you would like to check it out, here's the link: http://www.catlin.edu/blog/parkc/preview
In addition to my larger, more comprehensive research project that serves to consolidate templates of athlete contracts from varying countries and sports, I've also been assigned shorter, but equally fascinating tasks.
One of the responsibilities I had yesterday and continued to a little bit today as well was to find out how many athlete contracts some of my coworkers have done since November 2013. It was interesting to read about how many different kinds of contracts there are. For example, is the athlete contract we're dealing with in Brasil, for example, a merchandise contract where we just give the player some shoes to wear or is it a larger one that goes beyond just merchandise?
Another task I was assigned was to do some research to prepare for a response to a lawsuit. It has been interesting to use the research skills Catlin Gabel has taught me and apply them to real life situations.
I think one thing I learned already from working in the legal department that I did not know before (and it was a pleasant surprise!) was that things here aren't always 100% business. People still have fun, make jokes, and have a good time. For example, yesterday some of the legal department went out to go see Draft Day at Century Theaters just a few minutes from campus. It was a pretty good movie, but it was more fun to realize that I was slowly making my way into the mix.
Well, that's it for today. If you would like to see some more pictures, follow me on Instagram at .... just kidding, I wouldn't do a self-plug like that, or would I...
Thank you for taking the time to check out my Senior Project. I'm super excited to be working in the Nike Legal Department with my mentor Gary Way, and I hope you enjoy following what I'll be up to for the next month.
I met with Gary last Friday after school at his office to go over the basic gist of what my Senior Project will entail and the hours I'll be coming in. It was a great chance to get a feel for the office and campus as a whole. Although I had a chance to visit last Friday and have also been here before because my sister runs for Bowerman, I could not believe how difficult it was to find parking! I arrived on campus around 8:40 and spent a good 10 minutes driving in loops until I finally accepted the reality and had to park in a farther lot. Note to self: arrive earlier tomorrow so you can snag the best parking. It's funny how even when I'm not at Catlin, parking issues seem to continue to follow me around. *chuckle as I pat myself on the back for the witty joke*
On a more serious note, though, today served as more of an orientation day than anything else. I was introduced to my working space (image attached), I got access to my Nike account, I went to go get my official ID card (image attached), and I learned what my big project for the next four weeks will be.
For the next few weeks, I will be principally assisting Gary and Nike Legal with a contract template project in which I will be inventorying Nike's athlete contract templates, collecting some metrics, and helping with some analytics. According to my mentor, this is work in prep for a subsequent team-wide engagement on "right-sizing" some of Nike's contracts. I look forward to the opportunity to work on a project like this that might serve as a foundation for future projects that our team will tackle. It's something I hope to put my best effort forward and something I can learn from as well.
I also got to have lunch with Gary in one of Nike's cafeterias today along with my main man Will Rosenfeld (Nike Sports Marketing) and his mentor. We enjoyed a fun conversation and a little bit of competitive banter here and there. Will, if you are reading this, just remember that Nike SM Legal > Nike SM. ;)))
Even on my first day, I learned how incredible it is to work at a place like Nike. Not only is the campus beautiful but the people I've met already are very nice and welcoming. I look forward to what these next few weeks have in store.