Background of the company

Nike Inc is an American manufacturer involved in the design, development, and producing of sports goods like sports wears, t-shirts, shoes, etc. The headquarter of the company is situated near Beaverton, Oregon in the Portland Metropolitan area (USA). This corporation is one of the largest producers of sporting gear and a biggest supplier of athletic shoes and apparel. The current number of employees is more than 45000 world-wide. In 2014 the brand alone had valued at nearly $19 billion which makes the brand most valuable among sports businesses. The company was founded by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight in the year 1964 as Blue-Ribbon Sports. The business operations of the company can be defined in terms of its purpose, which has been thoroughly discussed in this article.

Purpose of Nike

Nike’s purpose is to invest in three core areas namely people, planet and play. A detailed analysis of these three parts is provided below:


In this segment of Nike’s purpose, the company invests in the people’s power in moving the world forward. Sport redefines potentials of human and when people believe in their strengths, they can break their barriers and make changes to the world. Based on Nike’s purpose, the company management is highly focused on the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion which also includes responsibility sourcing and building of community.

Diversity, equity and inclusion strategy

Nike’s purpose is to create certain systematic solutions to drive the process of business. As the company focuses on creating equitable playing field in the future, their focus on advancing diverse playfields, including teams to add a strong and a champion culture of the belonging society and community through creating a robust ecosystem can also value the communities as well as the suppliers of the world.


As a part of Nike’s purpose, the company always use to set clear and ambitious representation targets, building internal and external talent pipelines and expanding the recruitment in diversity, retention and promotional efforts to increase the diverse representation. Hence the company use transparent and data driven talent practises and decisions to mitigate the bias and achieve the goals. The company also use representation data with their teams and to ensure that the strategic alignment over time. Apart from that the diversity, education and community are another key aspects related to the purpose of Nike.


On the other hand, the company’s investment on the planet is something where the company is expected to bring certain potential solutions in the areas of waste management, waste recycle, carbon, water and chemistry. in case of carbon, Nike’s purpose is to set bold and scientific targets to reduce the carbon footprints in the biggest impacting areas which will be aggregated through creation of certain long-term views and measures as well as commitments of public to meet stakeholder expectations by aligning the same with the company’s business priorities. Hence, based on Nike’s purpose, the company has ensured to launch certain long-term goals and targets that can effectively set the foundation of the company’s operational part in this journey.

In the areas of waste management, it can be said that Nike’s purpose sets the obligation to consider the way the products are sold. Through an implementation of circular approach that is effectively focused on elimination of wastages through creation of products that are better for athletes and the planet. Hence in terms of representation and hiring aspects, the company sets a goal to represent 50% of the women in the global corporate workforce and 45% in leadership positions. With 30% representation in the US racial and ethnic minorities, Nike’s purpose has set to increase the value of Black and Latinx talent with investing more than $10 million in the historically black colleges. Further the company has also focused on 100% pay equalities across all the levels of employees on annual basis.

Further in order to reduce the water footprint, the company is effectively focusing on the ground efforts were generally the growth of raw materials is seen. Hence Nike is also looking to reduce freshwater use for dyeing and finishing of textiles through manufacturing the efficiencies and wastewater recycling. Therefore within 2025, Nike’s purpose will be looking to tie the executive compensation to meet their target performance. Further leveraging the annual milestones to improve overall management of performance can also try to extend the accountability of targets deeper into the value chain. Therefore, setting new targets focused on the waste management and supplier diversity, the company can effectively align with the science-based targets and sustainable development goals as a whole.


Play is the third aspect of Nike’s purpose. The company also effectively invests on playing areas and sports of all kids in order to ensure that the next generation leads a healthier and more equitable life. Through this strategy, the company sets a global commitment to get the next generation moving after working with all the local partners that can effectively increase the participation of girls and train more coaches in the marginalized communities. According to different conducted researches it is seen that kids are meant to play and they always seek for new opportunities to play. These people are healthier and more confident and successful in their academics. Since some kids face barriers to stay active than the others, it is important to understand that the sports should be safe to play and it should be fun regardless of the backgrounds, identity of the gender and aspiration abilities. Nike’s purpose always tends to support their community partners which work with marginalized communities. They help in growth and train coaches to deliver more positive and effective play opportunities to the kids by removing all the cultural, social and other economic barriers to ensure their participation.

In order to promote the play of kids and indulge them with sports activities right from the beginning, the company has partnered with Good Sports and Good360 to help the schools and local community organizations across US with gears they require. However, Nike does not accept any unsolicited requests for donations of products which makes their purpose highly straight forward.

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