Blogging the Swoosh


So you think you know

Its been a long day working a boring job at a cool company, so this post will be short. I am committed to posting something every work day, so keep checking back to experience a bit of my world.

So to night I wanted to let you know about a few facts you may not know about Nike. Enjoy and let me know if there is anything else you'd like to find out!

1. Nike has 2 gyms on site at our world headquarters-
-but we have to pay $40 per month to use them ($60 for a couple)! Last I checked 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness, and Bally's are all much less than that!

2. Nike has 6 different places to get a bite to eat on campus.
-okay, there is nothing bad about this...It fricken rocks! In addition to the standard cafeteria's, we have the Boston Deli and the Tar Heal serving made to order gourmet food.

3. Nike offers up to $3,000 per year in tuition reimbursement.
-woptie-frickin-du! Last time I checked, an MBA will set me back at least $35,000! Friends of mine at Intel get FULL tuition reimbursement as long as they maintain a 'B' average. Must be nice...

4. Average pay for salaried employees at Nike= $52,086
-not bad but here are some others from the list of the Top 100 employers, per Fortune magazine: Microsoft= $107,300 Hot Topic= $71,096 FedEx= $74,070 Yahoo= $117,245 Men's Warehouse= $77,280 Intel= $101,816

5. Free stuff!
-I'm averaging about 1 pair of shoes per month, and about the same for clothes. Plus, at least 1 pair of sunglasses and 1 watch per year. Not bad, eh? Of course you have to know the right people.

Alright, there is a bunch more but I'll save it for another time. Thanks for reading, nite!

*the comments in this blog do not reflect Nike's opinion or position in anyway. They are the sole thoughts of 1 individual. Please do not sue me.


All the beautiful people...

I am watching this movie about 9/11 and flight 93 right now, so it's hard for me to be serious. Then I think, "what the hell, the only things Nike is serious about are sports and killing Under Armour.....profits are just a byproduct."

So I am in the Boston Deli, one of our many campus eateries, and I look around at the 40-50 people eating lunch. First thing that pops into my head is that there is maybe 1 person over the age of 40. What are the odds of that in corporate America? Next observation, only a handful of people are even remotely overweight/out of shape. Again, what are the odds considering America's obesity rate? Last observation....We have some fricken hot women that work at Nike, but that is a topic for another post!

Nike is a company built on a unique workforce. We are very diverse in some aspects (race, gender, sexual orientation, etc) but no where near when it comes to age and activity! Some quick research online says that our average age is 33! Compare to GM where salaried men average 46 and women 40. Not sure what the obesity rate is at Nike, but in the US it is around 60% (though the gov't guidelines for this are VERY strict). I'd be shocked if that number was over 10% at Nike.

Where else on earth can you find a company like this? Would you rather work around a bunch of 40 something white men, or a good mix of beautiful people in their early 30's? I hear that even Adidas and Columbia are groups of over-eating smokers!

Only problem is maintaining a healthy self image if you are lucky enough to work here. Maybe that is why we have such a competitive culture.....We worry first about being more fit and beautiful than the person in the cube next to us.

*the comments in this blog do not reflect Nike's opinion or position in anyway. They are the sole thoughts of 1 individual. Please do not sue me.


The Perez era

What would a Nike blog be without my take on the exit of Bill Perez? For those of you who may not know, Perez stepped down as CEO of Nike, Inc. On Monday Jan. 23rd, 2006. Perez was just completing his 13th month in the job as the first CEO other than found Phil Knight.

Perez came to Nike with a great background and many believed he was exactly what Nike needed to take the company to the next level. He had a 34 year career at privately owned S.C. Johnson Company, maker of such brands as Glade and Windex. He left them as their CEO to join Nike as the successor to Knight.

Sorry for all the history....Fast forward to today. I'd say Perez departure was a huge surprise to both insiders and outsiders. He was hand picked by Knight, had experience with multiple brands, embraced the sports culture, and was believed to be one of very few that could understand Nike culture. This wasn't however, a surprise to Knight. Truth is Knight asked....Demanded that Perez resign. I sense that he know for some time now that it wasn't a good fit.

Knight says it isn't personal, but based on media reports and comments from Perez, I'd say it is. One problem that was reported was the difference in how these two men viewed the retailer. Perez embraces them, Knight could care less about them. Perez visited all 10 of Nike's top retail partners, Knight hasn't bothered.

So what's the problem you ask, sounds like Perez was doing good? The problem is that IT WASN'T KNIGHTS WAY of doing business! That's right, Knight wanted control. He couldn't stand that someone else would come in and call the shots. How dare anyone do things differently.

You know, that's really not all that bad. I mean Knight did build this company from the trunk of his car. Nike is what it is today largely because of him. The stock is up, revenue is up, profit is up....Guess he has been doing something right.

But what happens when times get tough? What happens when sales become flat again (and they will)? What happens when the stock falls? Think investors will be okay with Knights controlling nature at that point?

Let's just hope that Mark Parker, the new CEO has the guts to stand up to Knight every now and then. Change the status quo a bit, and do things his way. Let's hope his 27 years under Knight hasn't made him nothing more than a "yes" man.

*the comments in this blog do not reflect Nike's opinion or position in anyway. They are the sole thoughts of 1 individual. Please do not sue me.


Alternate Work Schedule (AWS)

So just last month, Nike rolled out its official policy on Alternative Work Schedules (AWS). We are usually ahead of the curve on things like this,but we are far from the first company to do this.

Here is the idea, if your life requires it, there is the opportunity to work a non-traditional work day/week. So if you want to stay home to see your kid get on the bus, and go into work at 10am, no problem. You need to leave every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 3:30pm for your AA group, go for it. Other examples include working from home once or twice a week, or doing a 4 day work week.

Only one problem, Ya Right!

Nike has always been a come and go as you please kind of place (within reason)....Just get your work done. But actually telling you it's okay to come in at 10am every day, forget it! Working from home once a week, sure whatever they say!

Bottom line: Nike is just like most other companies in many respects. Except, all the egotistical control freaks that run day to day operations. I work in a department with about 300 employee's and I don't know a single one that works an AWS. In fact, I've already heard stories of people being denied this 'benefit' because, and I quote, "we don't trust that they can do any work without our supervision." Kind of an odd statement from a company that can employ just about anyone they want! Why would they even waste their time with someone that needs so much supervision? It's all about the egos!

More to come tonight and tomorrow. I'll be posting my take on the Bill Perez era of Nike (all 13 months of it), the demographics of this company, and maybe even some more thoughts on management.

*the comments in this blog do not reflect Nike's opinion or position in anyway. They are the sole thoughts of 1 individual. Please do not sue me.


Just do'in it

Phil Knight recently told Nike employee's at an all company meeting that he will measure the success of this company by whether or not he can proudly proclaim to his great grandchildren "I built that company."

My success at Nike will also be measured on whether or not Phil can make that proud proclamation to his future generations. For I am not a company founder, I am not a board member, I am not a VP, and sometimes I don't really know what my job is. I'm just a person, putting my all into this company that was around before I was and that will be around after I am long gone.

You are reading the inaugural post of a blog that will peer into life at Nike. Not a view from the marketing department, not a view from wall street analysts, but a view from 1 of the 24,000 employee's world wide that has made this company his life....For good and bad.

I'm a 5 year veteran, with the unique opportunity to start my professional career at this one of a kind company. I've had good times and bad. I've loved my work, and I've hated my work. I've thought about getting a swoosh tattoo on my ankle and I've also thought about how I could bring this company down.

As you experience this blog, you will likely see all of these feelings and more. I'll call the company on the carpet, and I'll praise it all day long.

I might be risking my job, but who the hell cares....I hate it right now anyway and unemployment in Oregon pays VERY well!

*the comments in this blog do not reflect Nike's opinion or position in anyway. They are the sole thoughts of 1 individual. Please do not sue me.