Nike Chief Executive Speaks Out
Mark Parker, the chief executive of Nike has spoken to the Sunday Times about the future of the Nike brand.
Nike has gone through some choppy waters in recent years made even choppier by the global recession. Mark Parker is the man who has steered the sporting giant into calmer waters - the chief executive of Nike is passionate about sport, and as well as making profits, Parker has said he’s also committed to ensuring Nike makes a difference to the world too.A Day in the Life of a Nike Chief Exec
In an interview with Andrew Davidson in the Sunday Times, Mark Parker went through a typical week in the life of a Nike chief exec – watching the Arsenal-Chelsea match in London, attending Nike sponsored events in Dubai, attending Nike launch events, then jetting to Miami to host an art show with cyclist Lance Armstrong in aid of the Livestrong cancer charity – a charity heavily endorsed by Nike. The chief executive’s time is a mix of commercial selling, sponsorship and charity work.Nike is Number One
Mike Parker, born in America, began as a designer at Nike 30 years ago before climbing up the ladder to become chief executive of the brand. He is a self confessed “sneaker geek” and says the brand works hard to be the best-performing shoe in sports with many of its trainers becoming ‘iconic’ sports footwear. Nike has remarkable sales of $19 billion despite being hurt by the recession; Parker says Nike is still stretching its lead over Adidas. The Nike acquisition of Converse has also ensured its name is attached to one of the fastest growing footwear brands. Nike has also acquired the brand Umbro and hopes to sprinkle a little Nike magic over the British football label.A Company that Cares
Mike Parker has been described as one of the most powerful names in the sports business. Nike has a global impact not just on the manufacture of sportswear but on how sport is financed. Nike spends up to $2 billion on ‘demand creation’ through sponsorship. Parker says the athletes and their performance are Nike’s “core obsession”. Nike’s focus on sponsoring the top names in sports has helped put the brand in the global number one spot for sportswear.
Parker also wants Nike to stand out as a company that cares. It is taking a more aggressive approach to greener production values, making a strong stand against the bad PR from its sweatshop labour in the 90s. Now Nike campaigns for girls’ education in the Third World and has recently teamed up with Bono’s Red charity to help fight Aids in Africa.
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