From the ground up

To say Nike dominates the sportswear market would be an understatement. While sneakerheads debate Nike’s current relevance in a post-Yeezy world on message boards, comment sections and Twitter, it’s worth noting that Nike’s presence in the Highsnobiety universe accounts for just 5 – 10% of the Swoosh’s colossal business.

To help break things down a bit, here’s Nike’s colossal presence broken down in five easy figures.


The percentage of the American athletic footwear market owned by NIKE Inc. – so that includes Nike, Jordan Brand and Converse. adidas’s 9% share has been declining every year since 2011. Nike’s dominance of the basketball sector is particularly mind blowing – 96% of the market for b-ball footwear is adorned with the Swoosh or the Jumpman.


The amount of money Nike spent per second on so-called “Demand Creation” in Fiscal 2014. “Demand Creation” is essentially Nike’s buzzword for marketing, and could be anything from athlete endorsements and collaborations to ad spends.

$50 billion

The 2020 annual revenue target recently announced by Nike CEO and President Mark Parker. It’s a lofty target to say the least – even if the Swoosh’s revenue was up 5% to $27.8 billion in fiscal ’14.

Nike’s current $27.8 billion annual revenue is bigger than the entire nation of Uganda’s GDP, and the $50 billion target would place Nike above Slovenia, Costa Rica and Tunisia – all of whom have GDPs below $50 billion currently.

$2.25 billion

The amount of revenue generated annually by the Air Jordan line. The utterly vast hype surrounding Jordan’s Retro releases means Nike can routinely shift hundreds of thousands of sneakers in a matter of minutes, without the need for any advertising or marketing whatsoever.


The amount of people Nike employs worldwide (excluding production, which is handled by external contractors).

That’s almost double the population of Monaco. 650 of those are designers, who the brand gives a famously long leash to push radical new ideas, and who regularly turn far-out concepts into commercial smash hits (woven sneakers, anyone?).

For more sneaker info, check out Nike vs. adidas: Who Owns the Market? and How Nike Controlls the Sneaker Resell Market.

Words by Alec Leach
Digital Fashion Editor

Alec Leach grew up in Brighton, England, but now lives in Berlin, where he leads Highsnobiety's fashion content.

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