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Free research paper on history and founders

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Nike Inc is an American company involved in the design, development and marketing of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories and services. The company is listed in the New York Stock Exchange, and the company prides itself as the global leader in the supply of athletic shoes and apparel. The company is also a leading manufacturer and supplier of sports equipment. The company has also been named as the most valuable brand in the sports business.
Callaway Golf Company, is also a listed company in the New York Stock Exchange which deals with sporting goods worldwide and is involved in the design, development and manufacture of golf equipment and accessories. The company is the global leader in the manufacture of golf clubs.
Both Nike Inc and Callaway Golf Company are involved in the design and development of sporting equipment. A similarity in the two companies is that both the companies are involved in the development and marketing of sports equipment globally, and both possess significant portions of the markets that they operate in. The two companies also share another similarity; they are both American corporations listed in the New York stock exchange.
Though the two companies basically operate in the same markets, their services and products are different. Nike Inc is well established in the design, development and manufacture and supply of a great variety of sporting equipment and apparel which ranges from sporting shoes to equipment such as balls. Callaway Golf Company, on the other hand, has specialised its core business to the design, development, manufacture and supply of golfing equipment. While Nike Inc tries to cover all the sports with its equipment, Callaway Golf Company only focuses on one sport; golf.
According to Strasser & Becklund (1993), Nike Inc was initially started as Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS) by an Oregon track athlete Philip knight and his coach at the beginning of 1964, and originally, the company merely operated an American distributor for a Japanese shoe maker. The company, in1966 opened its first retail store and shortly afterwards ended its dealership with the Japanese shoe maker and started its own line of footwear. By 1980, the company had attained a 50% share of the American market for sports shoes, and on the same year, the company went public (Strasser & Becklund, 1993).
Nike Inc has greatly benefitted from its partnership with advertising agencies, and its product visibility has been highly enhanced by this. The company has worked for a long time with Wieden+Kennedy, an advertising agency and this relationship has been credited with some of Nike’s successful global product moves (Strasser & Becklund, 1993).
Callaway Golf Company was founded by Ely Callaway, Jr. Who had been formerly the president of Burlington Industries textile division. The founder of the company was a graduate from Emory University, and had been a successful player in the textile industry. Later, in 1982, the founder acquired another company, Hickory Sticks which was a manufacturer of golf sticks that the founder was known to be fond of using. The company hired Bruce Parker in 1985 as the head of sales, and was later promoted to the company’s chief of sales and was principally responsible for the growth of the company in the years that followed (Schwartz, 2010). Initially, the founder of the company was more focused on growing the company, and the gradual acquisitions that the company made of other companies such as Hickory sticks in 1982. The founder, as evidenced by his hiring decisions, was also focused on the development of superior products for the market. This can be evidenced by the decisions to further develop hickory golf sticks which had a stainless steel core. The company hired great performers such as Bruce Parker and Richard Helmstetter who was a renowned billiard ball designer. The company also at one time hired engineers from airplane manufacturing companies to use aerodynamic computer programs to evaluate the performance of its balls, all in an effort to develop better products for its customers. From his actions, it can be deduced that the founder of the company was focused on delivery of quality products to customers, as evidenced by his hiring decisions and product development. The company went public in 1992 (Schwartz, 2010).

Current executives

Phil Knight, one of the founders of Nike Inc is the current chairman of the company. He is a graduate of Stanford graduate School of Business. His paper, “ Can Japanese Sports Shoes Do to German Sports Shoes What Japanese Cameras Did to German Cameras?” indicates that the business idea for sports apparel was conceived a long time before the start of the company. The founder of Nike Inc is a certified public accountant, and at one time worked with Price Waterhouse and as an assistant professor of business administration in Portland State University. Before assuming the mantle as the chairman of Nike Inc, he had served as the company’s CEO until November 2004. He was replaced as the CEO by William Perez, who has been replaced by Mark Parker in 2006 (Strasser & Becklund, 1993).
The current CEO of Nike Inc is Mark Parker, a graduate in Political Science from Penn State University. He had joined Nike Inc in 1979 as a footwear designer, and has risen through the ranks to become the CEO. He is credited with the effort to ensure that Nike Inc becomes and remains an environment friendly company, as evidenced by the launch of the first “ green shoe” that is compliant with the principles of environmental sustainability (Schwartz, 2010).
Mark Parkers business policy at the helm in Nike Inc has been characterised by growth and maintenance of current market share. As the CEO of the company, he has undertaken drastic measures to fight off competition that is posed to Nike by other sporting brands such as Puma and Umbro. The company’s financial performance has been consistent, taking into consideration the adverse effects of the global economic downturn that was experienced when he was the CEO (Schwartz, 2010).
The current CEO of Callaway Golf Company is Brewer Chip. He was appointed to try and turn the fortunes of the company which had reported a loss in both 2010 and 2011 financial years. Before joining the company as the CEO, he had served as the president and CEO of Adams Golf since 2002. According to the chairman of the Board, his appointment was to bring to the company’s fold his extensive knowledge of all the facets of the golf business. The CEO has an undergraduate degree in Economics and an MBA from Harvard University (Callaway Golf Company Website, 2012).
His management philosophy is mainly building the focus of the company towards improving the strength of its brands to restore the profitability of the company.

O’Shea, Jamie (September 2004). ” Inside Mark Parker’s Alternate Universe”. Juxtapoz Magazine: p. 44.
Schwartz, Peter (February 3, 2010). ” The World’s Top Sports Brands”. Forbes. Retrieved 2012-06-04

Strasser, J. B., & Becklund L. (1993). Swoosh: The Unauthorized Story of Nike and the Men Who Played There. Harper Business.

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