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Summary of the book and key learning with respect to designing an organization and improving its effectiveness



NIKE - THE VISION BEHIND THE VICTORY ISBN-13: 978-81-8495-202-5 Author: Tracy Carbasho Publisher: JAICO Publishing House Rating Very Good! Reviewed by Vinod Gandhi

International Management Institute (IMI), Delhi

Submitted to: Dr. Richa Awasthy IMI, New Delhi


Submitted by: Vinod Gandhi 11PGDMHR59

Table of Contents
Topic Page No

INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................... 4 SUMMARY .................................................................................................................. 6

CHAPTER WISE SUMMARY & LEARNING ............................................................................. 6

EVALUATION..............................................................................................................12 REFERENCES...............................................................................................................13


Vinod Gandhi, presently pursuing his higher studies, II Trimester, in area of HumanResource Management from International Management Institute (IMI) Delhi, reviewed the book as individual assignment of subject Org. Design and Development taught by Dr. Richa Awasthy. The analysis is with respect to different views on the book; however the scope is strictly restricted to the context of Org. Design & effectiveness. You may contact him at

Below is a review of NIKE The Vision Behind The Victory, Jaico Publisher, written by Tracy Carbasho. She finds strength in the kind of details the company is built upon solid research and development initiatives. This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the company, giving readers a full appreciation of its fascinating history and the attributes and strategies that have helped Nike outlast its competitors. Material derived from interviews with star athletes and marketing experts lend additional insight into the Nike phenomenon. This book is a must read not just for sports fans or history buffs, but also for business leaders, as well as advertising and marketing executives, who most carefully can learn lessons from Nikes success and who will benefit from the Nike examples. The book is well written in a manner that makes its readers want to keep turning pages. I review this book for key learning with respect to designing an organization and improving its effectiveness; this book though provides great learning not only from organization perspective but also from strategically business management. As a marketer, one finds one of the most interesting aspects of the book to be the focus on Nikes communications its advertising, marketing, and public relations. Creative, meaningful, and forceful communications have been a vital part of Nikes success and the author paints images of the commercials and communications that have made Nike famous. With immense respect, I evaluate the book as very good in scale of 8.5 out of 10 not just because the book has provided all the relevant information in organizational context but also it proves to be motivational one with much strength of inspirations of various leaders. The book makes its readers intrigued and let them discover everything they ever wanted to know about a company that, starting from humble beginnings, succeeded in making Just Do It the catch phrase of a generation.



Tracy Carbashos book, Nike- The Vision Behind The Victory, succeeds in highlighting the little known facts about the iconic brand and how small development had the biggest impact on the brand. The Swoosh logo is one such case. The logo was created by graphic design student, Carolyn Davidson, who was paid a paltry $35 for her services. By the time she left Nike in 1983, Phil Knight, Co-founder and Chairman of Nike, gifted her a diamond ring with the swoosh logo and an undisclosed amount of stock. Today, Nike is synonymous with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and a host of other stars. The ability to customise products based on feedback from these athletes from the time it was founded in 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports. The book throws the reader open to controversial issues like how Nike stood by one of its key brand ambassadors, Tiger Woods, at the height of his troubles. The other instance is when Serena Williams, another Nike endorser, was fined $82,500 after her outburst in the 2009 US Open semi-final. Identifying the potential in stars and signing up with them early- Woods and John McEnroe are good examples- had stood this brand in good stead. For the users of the brand, the iconic swoosh symbol is the last word in quality.


Chapter 1 Inspiring Excellence The companys story is inspiring for sports fan and even for individuals who get football confused with soccer. It stars with Adrian Peterson, the star running back for the Minnesota Vikings, wanted to be like the sports heroes he saw in the Nike commercials when he was a kid. He had his first pair of Nike shoes at the age of 7-8 years in the year 1978. I wanted to be a Nike athlete when I was little and Im living my dream now, says Peterson. The chapter also captures how the Jordans name has become synonymous with Nike and the philosophy of continually improvement that has kept Nike at the top of the athletic footwear since 1964.

Chapter 2 The Vision behind the Victory Personally, this chapter inspires me a lot to read this book again. The chapter looks back to see where the Nike story began in order to explore the magnitude of what the company has achieved. Nike exemplifies how greatness can be built upon modest formation. The chapter encapsulates story of Bowerman, who was a nationally respected coach, had truly believed vision if you have a body, you are an athlete. It also shows his different experiments and innovations in running shoes. He believed strongly in his ideas and was not deterred by the rejections from existing shoe manufactures. Chapter includes the partnership, Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS), the precursor to Nike, between Bowerman and 6|Page

Knight, who was working on ideas of high-quality running shoes and was doing MBA from Stanford in 1962. Jeff Johnson, working on commission, as the first employee of BRS, was skilled at multi-tasking and managed operations while two founders could not do all of the work. In context to org. design and effectiveness, the chapter explains the affiliation between the corporate, the perfect time for the founders to start doing what they wanted to do from the beginning, the movement of the company in the right direction with each step carefully planned, and the strategically plotting of their next move including the birth of Nike footwear in 1972. The company believed in appealing to the masses and started aggressively promoting their products with There is no finish line

Chapter 3 Just Do It The story is motivating enough to make one want to Just Do It, no matter what it might be. It shows the emphasis on how it is important to do advertising with increasingly powerful, full-blown campaigns since the beginning of an org. It portrays how Nikes advertisements are known for featuring magnificent talent athletes in spotlight and creative designers developing memorable campaigns. Even before Facebook and Twitter became the hottest buzzwords, Nike had adopted an integrated approach to marketing that utilized the internet. The chapter illustrates Nikes strategies of engaging customers via social media and it to be rank seventh among 100 brands in regard to social media space. For any org. to be effective, Nike provides a marvelous example of how the campaigns depict that the org. understood what it is as a brand and understood in a holistic sense who is its customer. Nike was never a case of market myopia. It advocates advertising has to be about the consumers one serve, not just about the brand. That is what Value-based org. strategy is. It is a model of becoming consumer-centric and not about products-seller one. Nike has a diversity and inclusion component built into its organization structure. It focuses on including people of diverse background and skill sets. Diversity and inclusion are fundamental to Nikes performance. A special Diversity and Inclusion Team is responsible for engaging employees, providing business consultation, and developing innovative tools, models, and designs.

Chapter 4 Become Legendary The chapter is dedicated to Michal Jordan, who played a pivotal role in Nikes comeback in mid-1980s. Nike officials recognized his talent before him getting to gain fame and took him to endorse AIR JORDAN shoe in 1985. The innovative design represents a unique concept in performance footwear to help players become more agile. The company launched its latest edition of the campaign in October 2009 with the intention of showing youths the importance of teamwork and epitomizing Jordans legacy of team leadership.


Chapter 5 Setting Precedents in College Sports Nikes efforts to have an overwhelming influence on college supports include its presence at the Ohio State University versus the University of Michigan game. The company knows how to wield its influence in a variety of venues, including college sports. The chapter further signifies how Nike intensifies the anticipation surrounding its products by employing unique marketing strategies featuring athletes. For org. design and it effectiveness, its influence on college sports should be closely monitored because there is a potential danger of where the companys power could lead. It also recommends intermix of technology, advertising and org. elements in a way that one cannot be completely separated from the others.

Chapter 6 When Nike Athletes Stumble Another word has occasionally been associated with the companys products, advertising campaigns, and most recently, the athletes who endorse Nike products. The word is controversy. Nike has remained true to the athletes who endorse its products, even when they step out of the line with their behavior. The chapter talked about Tiger Woods, Michael Vick, and Serena Williams in relation to Nike. It is an identity of an effective org. that Woods publically expressed the reasoning behind his dedication to Nike during an interview in 2008 and company chose to support him after the allegations surfaced about his extramarital games.

Chapter 7 High-Tech is high stakes The true reason why the company has stood the test of time, from the first prototypes and the early versions endorsed by Jordan, is the technology behind the products. The org. design is built upon solid research and development initiatives that have paid off tenfold with customer loyalty, name recognition, and big-dollar ROI. The chapter talks about Nike Product-line, high-tech commercials, more sophisticated products, digital coaching experience to customers, Exeter R&D, special design elements and its movement into the 21st century. For org. effectiveness, Nike lays down the concept of incorporating technology into sporting apparel, equipment, and accessories to obtain increased sales, expanding product lines, and thriving in competitive markets. Its vital to connect todays savvy consumers and the need for companies to continually enhance the technological quality of their products.


Chapter 8 Serving as a Role Model Sustainability is just one of many areas in which the company focuses its intension in terms of being a good corporate leader. The chapter talks about company receiving a myriad of awards to recognize its commitment to corporate responsibilities, ethics, sustainability, and climate. It includes how it sent a letter to president Obama urging him to negotiate a climate deal at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15). Nike gives a strong message for Org. effectiveness as Improving working conditions via a holistic, integrated business approach to the supply chain Minimizing the companys global environment footprint through sustainable product innovation and supply chain innovation in direct operations and factories Using the power of brand to provide greater access to the benefits of sports for youths around the globe. There are significant examples that show why Nike was included among the 99 honorees on the 2009 list of the Worlds Most Ethical Companies.

Chapter 9 The Rich Get Richer The leadership has ultimately led to a big return on investment. The company first reached the billion-dollar milestone way back in 1986. Company is managing through the global turmoil quite well. The chapter describes countless wise decisions made by NIKE over the years, which explains why it is so powerful in the 21st century. As effective org practices, the org. is well positioned to leverage the power of global sports and drive hard against those growth opportunities that have the most impact. The companys initiatives to subsegment the business by category and geography is driving growth via integrated, sharply focused product innovations, retail experiences, and brand connections. The company is focusing on its specific product lines. Despite apparent growth in Asia and emerging markets throughout the world, the company was forced to make difficult decisions in 2009 that resulted in a corporate restructuring and downsizing. Company eliminated approximately 500 of its 35,000 worldwide jobs due to downtrodden economic environment. The strategy was to enhance efficiencies, decrease costs, and reduce management layers. As Org. design, Nikes restructuring also including reorganizing the brand into a new model composed of the six geographic areas from four operated previously. It enabled the company to make quicker decisions by having fewer management layers involved in the process.


Chapter 10 Sharing the wealth The chapter explores the major causes that are supported by Nike and hear responses from celebrities like Bono, the lead singer of the rock band U2; and renowned cyclist and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong. Individuals of their stature are pleased that causes important to their heart are receiving a generous hand from Nike. It further has story of teaching boys and girls the importance of gender equality as Nikes community outreach. It does perform CSR, but because of ethical and social concerns. As effective Org. Practices It gives example to other companies as how to use their influence in a positive manner to help communities and individuals.

Chapter 11 There is No Finish Line Nike is continuously unveiling a new product, launching another advertising supporting sponsored athletes, being visible in community, or tinkering technology. The chapter itself makes a base of effective org. practices that company successful. It contains various examples of living with continuous there is no finish line. campaign, with new makes the change as

Besides the learning that I have discussed chapter wise in form of Org. Structure design and effectiveness, other learning having direct impact on Org. effectiveness: The Nike sportswear company is organized in a matrix organizational structure, more commonly known as a flat organizational structure. Nike is a model of a successful company that uses this structure effectively. For a brand that is among the most visible globally, Nikes success story stands apart simply because success is never taken for granted. Today, this multi-billion dollar organization stands for apparel and sports accessories. Nikes immortal Just Do It slogan is displayed in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. The companys pioneering use of athlete endorsement as the foundation of its marketing and its dedication to incorporating advanced technology and materials in their products has forever changed the world of sports. Amazingly, what is now Nike sprang from the humblest beginnings two runners with a passion for improving the sport, willing to sell shoes out of their cars at track meets. Global competition requires companies like Nike to react quickly to marketplace dynamics. In flat organizations, production teams led by product managers can make decisions and react much more quickly than the traditional department head, which is often removed from the production line. The marketing mix or the 4 Ps of Marketing are Product, Price, Place (distribution) and Promotion. SWOT analysis ( as per the understanding from the book)

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SWOT analysis

Competitive organization Very lean organization Research and development High quality product Brand value Global presence

Heavily dependent upon its footwear market share Price sensitive retail market - Most income from retail Margins tend to get squeezed

Product development Owners believe that Nike is not a fashion brand - product could become unfashionable before it wears out Emerging markets - strong global brand recognition

Global impact - costs and margins are not stable Competitors are developing alternative brands to take away Nike's market share Consumers are shopping around for a better deal

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Before going to direct evaluating the book, I must thank the author for contributing greatly for very informative project in form of a book.

I am evaluating the same based on five parameters with equal proportion and giving them score as Low-1, Moderate-1.5 and High-2, as shown in below table.


Moderate (1.5)

Low (1)

Why I ranked it moderate / Low on few parameters 1. I could not find good amount of data devoted strictly to the quagmire that is the Asian economy. The author may not find this topic appealing, but the global reader would. 2. Many possibilities with respect to the situations are not suggested. Also, at times, it looks more like facts-presentation. Critical analysis is missing at times. 3. Comparison with Other org. has been made only to emphasis on the best practices followed at Nike. Leading examples of other companies that Nike has adopted or which Nike must have implemented are missing. Lack of evident of Nikes failure could be a reason for that.

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With due respect, I evaluate the book as very good in scale of 8.5 out of 10. The purpose of the book is to discuss the Vision behind the victory, which it completely presents. Unknowingly, spending some waiting time at Metro Station, I picked up very right kind of the book for my project on organization design & development. I recommend this book to every H.R / O.D.D practitioner as it talks about various strategies being implemented at Nike with respect to the effectiveness of the organization.


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