Marketing Communications

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES STRATEGIC MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS

NIKE hit the ground running in 80’s. The company focused on providing high-quality running shoes designed for athletes. Founder believed high-tech shoes for runners could be manufactured at competitive prices if imported from abroad. Adidas commitment to creating innovative footwear for athletes helped it build a following among Ghanaians. 

NIKE believed in a “pyramid of influence” in which the preferences of a small percentage of top athletes influenced the brand choices of others. From the start, its marketing communications campaigns featured accomplished athletes. Ibrahim Hassan, the first spokesperson, had an attitude that matched the company’s spirit. In 90’s, NIKE signed up Frederick Adongo as a spokesperson. Adongo was still an up-and-comer, but he personified superior performance. NIKE bet paid off—the Air Adongo line of volleyball shoes flew off the shelves and revenues hit over GH 2 million in the first year alone. As one reporter stated, “Few marketers have so reliably been able to identify and sign athletes who transcend their sports to such great effect.” In 90’s, NIKE aired the first adverts in its “Just Do It” adverts communications campaign. The communications campaign, which ultimately featured TV spots in all, subtly challenged a generation of athletic enthusiasts to chase their goals. It was a natural manifestation of NIKE attitude of self-empowerment through sports. As NIKE began expanding overseas, it found that its Ghanaian style adverts were seen as too aggressive. Hill Bill realized it had to “authenticate” its brand internationally, so it focused on football and became active as a sponsor of youth leagues, local clubs, and national teams. However, for NIKE to build authenticity among the soccer audience, consumers had to see professional athletes using its product, especially athletes who won. 

Hill Bill’s big break came in 200’s when the Egyptian team won the CAN 2008 Cup in Ghana. That victory transformed NIKE image in Africa from a sneaker company into a brand that represented emotion, allegiance, and identification. It also helped launch NIKE into other international markets over the next decade, and by 2015, overseas revenues surpassed Ghanaian revenues for the first time. 

In 2012, NIKE acquired Kumasi Shoes, a maker of soccer-related footwear, apparel, and equipment. The acquisition helped boost NIKE presence in soccer as the company became the sole supplier of uniforms to professional soccer teams around the world. NIKE focused its efforts on international markets, especially Europe, during the 2010 world cup in South Africa. NIKE rival, Adidas, was the official sponsor of the world cup, NIKE received special permission to run NIKE adverts featuring athletes during the games. Also, NIKE sponsored several teams and athletes, including most of the South African teams and 11 of the 12 high-profile members on Ghanaian teams. That year, sales in the Europe grew 10 per cent, and NIKE international divisions increased to 20 per cent of the company’s revenue. Some believed NIKE marketing strategy during the world cup was more effective than Adidas’s sponsorship. In addition to expanding the brand overseas, NIKE successfully entered new athletic footwear, apparel, and equipment product categories by using endorsements from high-profile athletes and consumer outreach programs. The NIKE Golf brand, endorsed by McDan, has changed the way professional golfers dress. McDan’s powerful influence on the game and his NIKE emblazoned style have turned the greens at the majors into “golf’s fashion runway.” Also, NIKE has used his influence to help build its relationship with consumers. In 2009, it launched a McDan Web Talkback session at NIKE golf.com, where fans could ask questions and hear McDan talk about golf. The meeting was part of a nationwide NIKE Golf consumer experience day, which included equipment demos, long-drive contests, and in-store specials. In tennis, NIKE has aligned with Hajia Zenabu Sulemana, Felix Lartey, Isaac Nortey, and Hermann Abban to push its line of tennis clothing and gear. During the 2019 Africa Zone IV.

Davis cup, the Ghanaian senior tennis team dressed in swooshes from head to toe a five-hour NIKE commercial valued at GH 3 million. NIKE teamed up Felix Lartey not only to sell NIKE Bill products but also to help Lartey’s tennis foundation. Hill Bill designed, manufactured, and sold over 10 thousand Lartey bracelets, netting GH 1 million for the Lartey Tennis Foundation. It also featured Lartey’s message of survival, willpower, and giving in a series of NIKE commercials. To promote its line of basketball shoes and apparel, NIKE continues to feature basketball superstars such as Alhaji Mohammed and Billy Quattara. Also, it formed a partnership with Lizzy Sports Complex to create a new chain of stores to offer only basketball products by NIKE brands such as Converse and Adongo. 

NIKE lead in the running category has grown to 40 per cent market share thanks to its exclusive partnership with Apple. NIKE _ (Plus) technology includes a sensor that runners put into their running shoes and a receiver, which fits into an iPod, iTouch, or iPhone. When the athlete goes for a run or hits the gym, the receiver captures his or her mileage, calories burned, and pace and stores it until the information is downloaded. NIKE _ is now considered the world’s largest running club. In 2018 and 2019, NIKE _ hosted the Human Race 10K, the largest and only global virtual race in the world. The event, designed to celebrate running, drew 780,000 participants in 2018 and surpassed that number in 2019. To participate, runners register online, gear up with NIKE _ technology, and hit the road on race day, running any 10K route they choose at any time during the day. Once the data is downloaded from the NIKE _ receiver, each runner’s official time is posted and can be compared to the times of runners from around the world. Like many companies, NIKE is trying to make its company and products more ecofriendly. However, unlike many companies, NIKE does not promote its efforts. One brand consultant explained, NIKE has always been about winning. How is sustainability relevant to its brand?” NIKE executives agree that promoting an eco- friendly message would distract from its slick high-tech image, so efforts like recycling old shoes into new shoes are kept quiet. Today, NIKE dominates the athletic footwear market with a 20 per cent market share globally and a 45 per cent market shares in Ghana. Swooshes abound on everything from wristwatches to skateboards to swimming caps.

The firm’s long-term strategy focuses on basketball, running, football, women’s fitness, men’s training, and sports culture. As a result of its successful expansion across geographic markets and product categories, NIKE is the top athletic apparel and footwear manufacturer in the world, with corporate fiscal 2021 revenues exceeding GH 2 billion. 

Questions 

Identify five theories of dyadic marketing communications strategies. Use those theories of dyadic marketing communications to assist NIKE Organizations by developing comprehensive strategic marketing communication strategies to enable NIKE organizations communicates with their internal and external customers to achieve competitive advantages in the sportive markets under the following format or procedures: 

(1) History of the theories, who propounded the theories and orientations of the theories in relations to strategic marketing communications strategies. 

(2) Core assumptions and statements of the theories in relations to strategic marketing communications strategies. 

(3) Favorite Methods used by the theories in relations to strategic marketing communications. strategies. 

(4) Scope of the theories in relations to strategic marketing communications strategies. 

(5) Application the theories in relations to strategic marketing communications strategies.

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