Whilst most people consider Nike, they think of movie star athletes like Michael Jordan, Mia Hamm, and Tiger Woods. When Nike’s own personnel consider their enterprise, they consider a retired university music instruct, an Olympic runner whose profession ended tragically in a 1975 vehicle crash, and a so-so athlete whose achievements as an entrepreneur a long way outpaced his accomplishments as a runner.
The majority have heard of Nike CEO Phil Knight, a center-distance runner who turned promoting shoes out of his vehicle into a footwear-and-apparel colossus. However few realize of Nike cofounder invoice Bowerman, Knight’s educate, or of Steve Prefontaine, the now-deceased runner who turned into additionally coached through Bowerman and whose crusade for better equipment inspired Bowerman and Knight to build the Nike empire. Yet, interior Nike, those three figures are extra applicable to the employer’s sense of identity than any of its celebrity spokespeople.
Why? Due to the fact Nike has made expertise its background an intrinsic a part of its corporate tradition. Think about this approach as inner branding: The memories which you inform about your beyond form your future. That’s why, in recent times, Nike has some of senior executives who spend an awful lot of their time serving as “company storytellers” — explaining the agency’s historical past to each person from vice presidents and sales reps to the hourly employees who run the coins registers at Nike’s stores. “Our memories are not about splendid commercial enterprise plans or financial manipulations,” explains Nelson Farris, fifty seven, Nike’s director of corporate training and the employer’s chief storyteller. “they may be approximately humans getting matters executed.”