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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Nike & Reebok - 1,996 words

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... The combination of these two producers with Reebok created a fast growing giant in the footwear market. Through related diversification, Reebok was able to offer a larger product line and attract new customers as well as maintain satisfaction with existing customers. Reebok's business level strategy focused on best cost. By offering a top quality product, Reebok was able to charge a premium price. Functional strategies at Reebok are mostly standards based.

Each department at Reebok adheres to strict standards that are in place and when standards do not exist for something that Reebok is dealing in, then standards are created and put in place. This is the way of life at Reebok, which makes the life of the company longer and culture stronger.Overall, Reebok appears to have a clear strategic direction in that they want to remain at the top of their market and continue to grow and acquire other companies. As long as they stay focused on their current goal, which is to create exceptional shoes for athletes, they will remain in top of the market.Structure and Control SystemsNike Nike, Inc. has many qualities of that of a Hybrid structure as well as a multidivisional structure. William Perez stands at the top of the Nike ladder as president and CEO of Nike, Inc. While Phillip Knight is the chairman of the board of directors, and founder of the company, Perez is the man that runs the show from the top. Numerous VP's follow Perez, and he also has four CEO's working for him as well.

The four CEO's that work for Nike are Jack Boys of Converse Inc., Bob Hurley of Hurley, Chris Zimmerman of Bauer Nike Hockey, and Mathew Rubel of Cole Haan. These four companies were bought out by Nike along the way, with Converse being the most recent and publicized in 2003. There are numerous VP's that Nike has working for them fall into the Hybrid structure such as Roland Wolfram who is the VP of Asia Pacific and John Notar who is the VP and GM of European Team Sports. With the buyout of other companies, Nike has also managed to fit themselves into the description of a multidivisional strategy with employees like Chris Zimmerman and Jack Boys, the CEO's of Bauer Nike Hockey and Converse respectively, spoken about earlier. Going down one more level in the Nike ladder, there is Jim Allaker, the VP of finance, planning & operations, and also Oscar Cardona, the VP of human resources. These positions show more of an inclination of a hybrid structure. Understanding the fact that Nike distributes its products in over 200 countries, and has a diversity in products from sneakers and clothing, to dress shoes (Cole Haan), to retro sports wear (Converse), to hiking shoes, and even the availability of skateboard shoes and clothing, leads us to believe that Nike does not follow one organizational structure. Nike has evolved from outsourcing many different aspects of the company such as labor monitoring, to developing trained staffs of Nike employees to move these divisions in-house, creating a tightly integrated multidivisional strategy.

Nike has great regard for it's public appearance, and have numerous quality and conduct standards that are held to each of the 23,000 employee's of Nike, as well as to all of their products and services that they provide. In 1991, Nike drafted their Code of Conduct to improve working conditions in all areas of the company, focusing on their warehouses, which were highly scrutinized at one point. "At the core of the NIKE corporate ethic is the belief that we are a company comprised of many different kinds of people, appreciating individual diversity, and dedicated to equal opportunity for each individual".This quote seems to sum up the goal and aspirations of Nike, Inc. The Cod of Conduct goes on to speak about forced labor, Child labor, compensation, benefits and environment safety and health. Nike values greatly its appearance in the eye of the consumer and also in the eyes of all of its employees as well.ReebokReebok is very much like Nike in the fact that they are both straddling the line between a hybrid and a multidivisional organizational structure. This would only make sense due to the fact that they are direct competitors and have been for almost two decades now.

Reebok, however, has gone through many growth fazes in the last twenty years using a few different strategies before becoming the market force that it is today. Paul Fireman, the CEO of Reebok, chose to apply a concentrated growth strategy when he introduced just three styles of running shoes for men in just the American market. Fireman used his incredible marketing and promotional techniques to grow this single product line and create more capital for the company. Fireman then started to lean towards a product development strategy as he created the first women's aerobic shoe. This was the absolute first of its kind and it is what singled out Reebok from its competitors at the time and distinguished the company amongst the market and throughout the world. Fireman understood that by using a product development strategy, it would involve acquiring new consumers to the market and creating a loyal customer for them and creating brand loyalty amongst a new group of consumers.Reebok became a huge company in 1985 as their sales exceeded that of $300 million. This prompted Fireman to begin a horizontal integration strategy acquiring the Rockport Company, which is a manufacturer of walking shoes and a leader in its industry, in 1986. Fireman also decided to purchase Avia Group International, an Oregon based shoe company. Fireman made this acquisition because Avia was one of the worlds fastest growing shoe companies, along with Reebok, making them a very strong and progressive leader in the footwear industry.

Soon after Fireman purchases Avia, he then went after Ellesse International's apparel division, an Italian sportswear manufacturer. Most recently Reebok acquired Koho, which is a hockey equipment and apparel company, which will put them back in direct competition with Nike Bauer Hockey.Reebok, with its horizontal integration, is able to compete in many different segments of the market, as is Nike, with is acquisitions of Cole-Haan and Nike Bauer Hockey. Reebok also has their international markets to be able to compete throughout the world, as well as their numerous products lines throughout the US. Reebok has thrived on its product diversification, while Nike has moved towards product development. Both compete in the same areas, at or near the high end of the athletic shoe and apparel market. As long as the companies continue to expand and acquire, they will always compete with each other and relate in structure and controls.Performance AnalysisNike Nike appears to be doing well and not only are they financially stable, but appear to be growing steadily as well.

Nike is the number one shoemaker in the world, currently controlling over 20% of the U.S. athletic shoe market. Revenues have increased consistently over the past five years, as well as net income, with the exception of net income taking a dip in 2003. Furthermore, Nike's return on assets and return on equity has basically continued to increase over the past five years to the current levels, which are above the industry averages. The five-year averages for Nike's return on assets and return on equity are also above the five-year average for the industry. This goes to prove that Nike is creating value and growing the company. Moreover, Nike's gross profit margin percentage is above the industry average. As for efficiency, Nike has a good inventory turnover ratio.

It has increased slightly every year for the past five years, but is still well below the industry average. Nike is slightly below the industry average when it comes to its current ratio, a measurement of liquidity. However, this ratio has increased every year for the past five and is probably directly attributable to Nike's consistently growing "cash and equivalents" figures. Their cash has tripled in the past five years, showing improving signs in regards to the liquidity of the company. Nike seems headed in the right direction with their debt management. Their debt ratio has varied slightly over the past five years, but stayed right around 40% the whole time. Additionally, their total debt has decreased notably over the past five years.

On the other hand, however, their long-term debt has increased. This can be a sign that they are paying off their short-term debts, possibly issuing more equity, or refinancing with long-term debts which would be a good move at the current time, with interest rates still low. Finally, in the past five years, Nike stock has grown by 79.19%, but recently (the past six months) the stock has declined by 4.97%. This is probably not a concern yet, as the stock market in general has been shaky.Reebok Reebok is in decent shape, but not quite up to Nike's levels of financial growth. They are currently the number two athletic shoemaker, right behind Nike. Their net sales and net income levels have consistently increased over the last five years. Reebok's current return on assets and return on equity are decently below the average for the industry for 2004.

Furthermore, their five-year averages are also notably below the industry five-year averages. Another measure of profitability is the gross profit margin percentage, which for Reebok is 3.73% below the industry average. Reebok is fairly efficient with their inventory as their inventory turnover ratio is about 2x below the industry average. Reebok's liquidity has been very inconsistent over the past five years, as its current ratio has changed between 2.30x and 3.05x. The average over the past five years has been 2.7x, but the lowest (2.3x) occurred in 2004. Their cash and equivalents numbers had increased consistently until a sudden drop in 2004, which probably relates to the decrease in current ratio. Reebok's debt ratio has also fluctuated quite a bit over the past five years, but recently has hovered around 50%. Furthermore, the long-term debt and total debt have continued to increase for Reebok over the past five years. One could hope this is just them taking advantage of the low interest rates and financing through debt. Otherwise it could be the sign of a future financial problem for the company.

Finally, the stock performance of Reebok has been very good. Their five-year growth is 209.31% and their recent (six month) growth is 17.64%, much better than Nike in both regards.Performance PredictionsNikeWe believe that Nike will continue to excel in the industry. Financially, they appear to be on the right track, with almost all important figures heading in the right direction. The biggest two of those important figures being the negative correlation between revenues and debt; revenues are rising while debt is declining. Furthermore, despite the good possibility that the economy will begin to slow due to the slowly rising interest rates, athletic shoes and apparel, which Nike provides seem to continue to be of high demand. Moreover, the fact that Nike has very strong brand loyalty and a worldwide customer-base will help them to continue to prosper over the next three to five years and far beyond.ReebokReebok, while not currently as stable as Nike will probably grow over the next three to five years also. We don't believe that they will have quite the success of Nike. However, they are pretty well anchored in at the number two spot with Adidas being the only real close competition.

Reebok also will feel the affects of any possible economic slowing, but only if that actually happens, and it will not break the company anyway. Reebok too provides for a highly demanding industry, driven by the next big offering from a company. Furthermore, Reebok has fairly strong brand loyalty and a worldwide customer-base as well, just not quite as strong of brand loyalty or as large of a customer-base. As previously stated, Reebok will probably not reach the levels of sales that Nike currently does, but will still do well for themselves in the future..

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