With its name invoking the Greek goddess of victory, the Nike company is a leader in the athletic apparel industry and one of the largest teamwear brands in the world. Nike supplies teamwear to football (or soccer) clubs around the globe and outfits 39 national football teams, including the U.S., England, Brazil, and France. In business since the 1960s, the company has had a long time to develop the styles and technology that make Nike Teamwear so successful today.
Nike In The 1960s and 1970s
Founded in 1964 under the name Blue Ribbon Shoes, the company got its start selling a Japanese athletic shoe called the Tiger. Ten years later, company founder Bill Bowerman made the first shoes with the Nike name on a waffle iron. As a track and field coach, he was looking for a lightweight shoe that would give runners more speed on an artificial surface. Eating waffles for breakfast one morning, he was inspired to use the waffle iron to make a polyurethane mold for a shoe sole. The Nike Waffle Trainer hit the shelves in 1974 and introduced the brand to the public.
Nike In The 1980s
By the 1980s, Nike had attained 50% of the U.S. sports shoe market, and the name and swoosh logo were widely known. In 1984, Nike signed a sponsorship deal with Michael Jordan, then a rising star in basketball who went on to make Air Jordans one of the most wildly popular shoes in history. The famous shoes, which are still retro-ed today, were made with a pocket of air underneath the sole to give comfort and support. 1988, the company introduced the slogan "Just Do It," which was voted one of the five best slogans of the century. During the 1980s, Nike also began selling apparel along with sports and fitness equipment.
Nike In The 1990s
In the early 1990s, Nike was still the leading manufacturer of athletic shoes, but in the latter part of the decade, it began to lose sales due to controversy over the treatment of workers in overseas Nike factories. The company responded to pressure from activists by making significant changes to ameliorate conditions, such as raising the minimum wage for its overseas workers and taking steps to ensure their employees' safety and health. In 1999, the company's image got a boost when Nike sponsored the U.S. women's soccer team, who won the World Cup that year. They gained another important sponsor when they signed Mia Hamm, who went on to set the record for the most international goals scored, a record she held until 2013.
Nike Football Kits Today
Since the 1990s, Nike has continued its sponsorship of U.S. and international football teams, providing full nike football kits that include jerseys, shorts, socks and shoes. In the retail market, Nike Teamwear is very popular due to the company's brand recognition and their reputation for high quality clothing materials and construction. For any team, the football kit is a significant part of their identity; not only does the clothing need to fit and perform well, it needs to give the team members the look their fans will recognize and cheer for.it
Nike is known for Dri-Fit, a microfiber polyester fabric that wicks sweat away from the body and dries quickly; their Dri-Fit clothing items are still top sellers. However, the Nike design team further innovated Nike fabric with the Vapor kit, made of AeroSwift yarn, which wicks moisture and dries out even more quickly than its predecessor. Some of the characteristics of the Vapor jersey include a combination of single knit (for breathability) and double knit (for strength), light weight, stretch, and holes that are knitted in rather than lasered in. The shorts are made with a flat waistband and no drawstrings.
Nike football kits are described as having a superhero aesthetic since the jerseys are designed to look like a chestplate. This is not only a powerful look, but the close-fitting jersey gives opponents nothing to grab onto. Team names and emblems are knitted into the fabric directly rather than embroidered so that there are no areas of friction in the fabric. Dyed in highly visible colors, sleeves are cross-dyed to enhance the effect of motion as a player runs across the field. For retail customers of Nike Teamwear, there is a wide variety of colors available, and a custom football kit will include player numbers and the team emblem.
The Nike Vapor kits are made from recycled plastic bottles. Diverted from landfills, they are converted to the polyester fibers that make up the AeroSwift yarn. In addition, Nike promotes recycling through the Re-Use A Shoe program. Old sports shoes are collected and recycled into surface materials for playgrounds and basketball courts. Nike was voted one of the top environmentally-friendly companies by former non-profit Clean Air - Cool Planet.