Nike Inc.’s Leadership and Management


Leadership and management are fundamental in any industry. One of the unique industries in the form of real-life management and leadership styles required to run it effectively is the sports industry. This aspect is because of the many departments within those industries and the difference in expertise and management procedures required in every industry. One of the firms that have performed well in terms of leadership and management as stipulated by growth and numbers is Nike. Nike is a global firm that deals with sporting equipment like shirts, shoes, jerseys, and caps for athletics, cricket, basketball, football, American football, and golf. The premium company is known to design, create, develop, manufacture, market, and sell sports apparel and accessories was started in Oregon state in 1964 by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman as Blue Ribbon Sports, which later changed to Nike in 1971. Today the firm is the biggest supplier of sportswear globally, with over $37.4 billion (Kim, 2020). Today the company has over 500 manufacturing factories and 76700 employees worldwide, making it one of the largest firms in the world. All this success can be directly linked to the leadership and management provided by its leadership structure. Leadership and management inspire the design and development of quality products and services, which keep growing the firm. This paper looks to dissect the leadership and management in sports companies like Nike.

Leadership and Management of Sports Companies

Management is telling and arranging while enhancing and nurturing. In both cases, management and leadership provide direction to the company by outlining the mission and vision of the firm. The management and supervision of the organization are concerned with carrying out various operations, such as setting the objectives and goals. The goals and objectives provided by the leaders direct the allocation of resources and the motivation of the employees to work hard to achieve them. Nike’s main objective is to become the global leader in sports equipment design and manufacturing. The other importance of leadership and management is monitoring the firm’s progress and making the necessary adjustments. The company, through statistics, can evaluate its growth, profits, and losses from which it can motivate its employees to work hard or consolidate resources to bring the required changes. The other role of management and leadership at Nike is making investments. The investments can be on acquiring an existing product, designing a new one, or adjusting what is already available. The investments can also be informed of developing new facilities, training employees, and reporting the progress of implementing strategies that have been laid down. The leaders and managers are also responsible for formulating policies that can guide the design, development, and manufacturing of the products that athletes require and ensure that they get to clients. The guidelines can also be on the employees’ conduct regarding the organization’s operations (Lussier and Achua, 2016). Other procedures that leaders and managers make can be regarding trading tariffs, competition regulations, industry standards, and legal constraints. They are also concerned with discipline and accountability, which dictates the actions of an individual and the punishment or reward they get. In Nike, every person is accountable. The managers and leaders engage in roles such as allocation and deployment of employees at different levels, negotiating the price for the company’s products, and making sure the ethics, rights, and safety guidelines for workplaces are withheld.

Like any other organization, the management of Nike is concerned with planning, organizing, leading, and controlling the organization. In planning, the managers and leaders develop the mission and mission of the organization and define the methods and resources to be applied when implementing the plan. Nike has to make operations plans, financial plans, and sponsorship plans (Megheirkouni, 2020). In organizing, Nike focuses on the scheduling, coordination, and division of tasks in a company. In leading, individuals are directed to conduct certain operations geared towards achieving a specific goal. Motivation, application of teamwork, and discipline are some of the issues that can be incorporated into the program to show leadership. Lastly, control deals with monitoring, reporting, measurements, and recommendations for a certain design or product. Sporting companies like Nike have to incorporate all these areas of leadership and management into their daily operations for them to succeed in manufacturing the best products, making profits, making change, and growing.

All of the managers of Nike, such as former CEOs and chairpersons like Philip Knight and mark parker up to the current CEO John Donahoe have the right skill set for the management of sports companies like Nike. For instance, all three individuals were involved in sports before forming or joining Nike as athletes or coaches. With such experience comes the information on what sportsmen want in terms of shoes, shirts, and other apparel, and hence they can develop the best products for the market. The exposure to sports also enables them to understand how to motivate their buyers and their employees to pull all their efforts into helping the firm achieve success (Megheirkouni, 2020). Besides, Nike’s leadership focuses on helping the employees hone their plans and ideas. For instance, according to Mark Parker, the former CEO of Nike, leadership is all about editing and amplifying. Here he spreads the gospel of leadership, helping employees sharpen their ideas and make them a success.

The company’s leadership and management are also transformational as it provides employees with a mission and vision. Transformational leaders in a firm like Philip Knight are innovators who use various methods to inspire their workers to be innovative and creative (Kim, 2020). The leaders are constantly critiquing, coaching, and supporting the workers to perform and excel in their work. Looking at some of the firm’s projects, including the Flywire support system, dunking shoes, trainer shoes, free footwear, and lunarlite foam cushion shoes, we see a very innovative firm. These ideas did not come from top management but from low management, which shows that the firm is transformational as it allows its employees to speak their minds through designs. Apart from that, its transformational nature can be seen in how it handles the firms it acquires, such as Jordan and Converse. The acquired firms have continued to work independently with independent leadership and programs, which has enabled them to grow individually and, in the end, make the organization great.


In conclusion, the leadership and management of sports companies can be technical in many ways, especially when different products and sports are involved. However, good leadership and management, which is transformational and run by an administration with experience or background in sports, can help them grow revenue and market share.


Kim, M. (2020). How Phil Knight made Nike a leader in the sports industry: Examining the success factors. Sport in Society, 23(9), 1512-1523.

Lussier, R. N., & Achua, C. F. (2016). Leadership: Theory, application & skill development. Boston, Massachusetts: Cengage Learning

Megheirkouni, M. (2020). Servant leadership, trust, and knowledge management in sports organizations. International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 20(3-4), 211-231.

Cite this paper

Select style


BusinessEssay. (2023, March 29). Nike Inc.'s Leadership and Management. Retrieved from


BusinessEssay. (2023, March 29). Nike Inc.'s Leadership and Management.

Work Cited

"Nike Inc.'s Leadership and Management." BusinessEssay, 29 Mar. 2023,


BusinessEssay. (2023) 'Nike Inc.'s Leadership and Management'. 29 March.


BusinessEssay. 2023. "Nike Inc.'s Leadership and Management." March 29, 2023.

1. BusinessEssay. "Nike Inc.'s Leadership and Management." March 29, 2023.


BusinessEssay. "Nike Inc.'s Leadership and Management." March 29, 2023.