This case study consists of two parts, A and B | Assignment Help

Case Study 1
This case study consists of two parts, A and B.
Please read them first, then try to answer the following questions. Write your answers for each question and submit it on Canvas by Monday 2/15 .
Case A: Nike
Nike hit the ground running in 1962. Originally known as Blue Ribbon Sports, the company focused on providing high-quality running shoes designed for athletes by athletes. Founder Philip Knight believed high-tech shoes for runners could be manufactured at competitive prices if imported from abroad. Nike’s commitment to designing innovative footwear for serious athletes helped it build a cult following among U.S. consumers. Nike believed in a “pyramid of influence” in which the preferences of a small percentage of top athletes influenced the product and brand choices of others. From the start its marketing campaigns featured accomplished athletes. Runner Steve Prefontaine, the first spokesperson, had an irreverent attitude that matched the company’s spirit. In 1985, Nike signed up then-rookie guard Michael Jordan as a spokesperson. Jordan was still an up-and comer, but he personified superior performance. Nike’s bet paid off—the Air Jordan line of basketball shoes flew off the shelves and revenues hit over $100 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 1988, Nike aired the first ads in its $20 million “Just Do It” ad campaign. The campaign, which ultimately featured 12 TV spots in all, subtly challenged a generation of athletic enthusiasts to chase their goals. It was a natural manifestation of Nike’s attitude of self-empowerment through sports. As Nike began expanding overseas to Europe, it found that its U.S.-style ads were seen as too aggressive. Nike realized it had to “authenticate” its brand in Europe, so it focused on soccer (known as football outside the United States) 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. Nike’s big break came in 1994 when the Brazilian team (the only national team for which Nike had any real sponsorship) won the World Cup. That victory transformed Nike’s image in Europe 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 2003, overseas revenues surpassed U.S. revenues for the first time. In 2007, Nike acquired Umbro, a British maker of soccer-related footwear, apparel, and equipment. The acquisition helped boost Nike’s presence in soccer as the company became the sole supplier of uniforms to over 100 professional soccer teams around the world. Nike focused its efforts on international markets, especially China, during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Although Nike’s rival, Adidas, was the official sponsor of the Olympic Games, Nike received special permission from the International Olympic Committee to run Nike ads featuring Olympic athletes during the games. In addition, Nike sponsored several teams and athletes, including most of the Chinese teams and 11 of the 12 high-profile members on the United States men’s basketball teams. That year, sales in the Asian region grew 15 percent to $3.3 billion and Nike’s international divisions grew to 53 percent of the company’s revenue. Some believed Nike’s marketing strategy during the Olympics was more effective than Adidas’s Olympic 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 Tiger Woods, has changed the way professional golfers dress. Tiger’s powerful influence on the game and his Nike emblazoned style have turned the greens at the majors into “golf’s fashion runway.” In addition, Nike has used the superstar to help build its relationship with consumers. In 2009, it launched a Tiger Web Talkback session at, where fans could ask questions and hear Tiger talk about golf. The session 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 Maria Sharapova, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal to push its line of tennis clothing and gear. Some called the famous 2008 Wimbledon match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal—both dressed in swooshes from head to toe—a five-hour Nike commercial valued at $10.6 million.
Nike teamed up with seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong not only to sell Nike products but also to help Armstrong’s LIVESTRONG campaign. Nike designed, manufactured, and sold over 70 million yellow LIVESTRONG bracelets, netting $80 million for the Lance
Armstrong Foundation. It also featured Armstrong’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 Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. In addition, it formed a partnership with Foot Locker to create a new chain of stores, Houseof Hoops by Foot Locker, which offers only basketball products by Nike brands such as Converse and Jordan.
Recently, Nike’s lead in the running category has grown to 60 percent 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 2008 and 2009, 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 2008 and surpassed that number in 2009. 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 eco-friendly. 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 31 percent market share globally and a 50 percent market share in the United States. 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 2009 revenues exceeding $19 billion.

  1. What are the pros, cons, and risks associated with Nike’s core marketing strategy?
  2. If you were Adidas, how would you compete with Nike?
    CASE B:
    From Clydesdales to Talking Frogs: Budweiser’s Strategic
    Adaptability Keeps It a Winner
    In the rapidly changing world of today’s marketing manager, for a brand to survive and thrive over the long run, its marketing strategy must stay ahead of the curve. It must continually evolve— responding to the changing needs and preferences of customers and taking advantage of the many new tools for connecting with its target markets. Over the course of its 150 years, the Budweiser brand has not only survived but thrived, thanks to strong marketing management focused on
    providing value and effectively communicating that value to its customers.
    In 1864, Adolphus Busch partnered with his father-in-law, Eberhard Anheuser, to begin brewing beer in St. Louis. Anheuser was a marketing pioneer in those early years, using a strong mix of the most cutting-edge promotional tools of the day: print and outdoor advertising, point-of-sale material in saloons, an inventory of giveaway items, and a large cadre of traveling salesmen (yes, they were all men back then). Fast forward to 1908: anticipating Prohibition, Busch used newspaper ads to remind readers (and regulators) that the beer industry employed 750,000 people who touch 4 million women and children family members, and that 400,000 more people were employed on farms that produced crops needed to make beer. In a patriotic theme to be revisited in future years, Busch and Anheuser proclaimed to everyone that beer industry employees “love their homes,” and “are good, honest citizens, temperate, patriotic, and true.”
    Despite their best efforts to thwart it, Prohibition arrived in 1920, and the minds behind Budweiser responded with a major modification to the product component of the marketing mix: the introduction of nonalcoholic beer and soft drinks. When Prohibition ended in 1933, the knee-jerk marketing approach of most beer brands was to simply announce they were back in business with ads in the key newspapers of the day (The New York Times, for example). Budweiser took a bit bolder marketing approach. In an early example of event marketing, Budweiser celebrated the return of legal booze with six Clydesdale horses pulling a red, white, and gold beer wagon up New York’s Fifth Avenue to the Empire State Building. These majestic horses were a very early “brand character,” and of course they would go on to appear many times in Budweiser promotions in the coming years.
    After the Great Depression, Budweiser made a major product packaging innovation—beer in
    cans—that dramatically boosted product sales. The 1940s brought the now-famous slogan, or
    tagline, the “King of Beers,” which is still in use today. In the 1980s, faced with more healthconscious consumers, Budweiser responded with one of its biggest product innovations: Bud
    Light. Although Budweiser grew to be the number 1 American beer brand in 1988, by 2001 the
    Bud Light brand line extension overtook its big brother for first place in U.S. beer sales. Also inthe 1980s, Budweiser took the bold marketing strategy step of focusing almost exclusively on sports-watching males. So it was only natural that Budweiser would decide to dominate the premier sporting event—the Super Bowl, of course. While requiring a huge promotional expenditure, the annual event gave them instant access to a massive audience of these targeted sports-watching males, and it was also a great platform for some very memorable and creative advertising (search for “Budweiser Frogs commercial” or “Budweiser Whassup commercial” to see a couple of famous classics). Budweiser was indeed the King of Beers—and the King of Marketers!
    But alas, market preferences shifted in the 1990s toward wine and cocktails, causing a marked
    decline in beer sales and heightening the role of marketing management even more for Budweiser.
    Ultimately, the emerging microbrewery craze set in; in 2008, Anheuser-Busch was sold to the
    Belgian company InBev (the new corporate name is AB Inbev). Although no longer an “Americanowned” beer, Budweiser continues to push its strong association with Americana through cuttingedge Super Bowl commercials and the return of the beloved Clydesdales. Budweiser’s 2017 Super
    Bowl ad reached even further back into its American history, telling the story of Adolphus Busch’s immigration to the United States.
    Budweiser continues to innovate with products focused on females and millennials. In 2012, it launched a blend of beer and cocktail called Lime-A-Rita, with additional flavors recently released.
    In 2014, 200,000 millennials were invited to vie for 1,000 spots at Whatever, USA, a Budweiserled event in Crested Butte, Colorado, where guests partied with celebrities, made many new friends, and, of course, drank Bud Light. The strategy was executed largely through digital and
    social media.
    Over all these years, Budweiser’s longevity and continued success is a testament to the power of strong, adaptive marketing management—always staying fresh in the market, relevant to new groups of customers, and effective in using the day’s most effective promotional tools to communicate the brand’s value and differentiation.
  3. Over the course of its history, Budweiser’s marketing responded to major regulatory and cultural changes, such as Prohibition and the changing role of women in society.
    What other changes are either happening now or are on the horizon to which today’s marketing managers at Budweiser should respond? What should that response be?
  4. In this account of Budweiser’s history there is evidence of both “Big M” marketing and “little m” marketing. Which of these two types of marketing do you think is
    Budweiser’s greater strength? Support your answer with examples to demonstrate your understanding of these concepts.
  5. The most recent threat to Budweiser’s dominance is the microbrewery craze, which has created (or resulted from) a set of more discriminating beer drinkers, not so different from wine aficionados. One approach Budweiser has taken in their commercials is to make fun of these enthusiasts. Do you believe this is an effective strategy? Why or why not? What alternative communication or product innovation strategies (if any) should be considered to reach this segment


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