Nike Inc NKE is one of the most well-known brands in the world. The company completed an IPO in 1980 and has been publicly traded since.
Here’s how a key event in 1985 influenced the share price rise over the last 36 years.
What Happened: From 1972 to 1984, Nike’s sales increased from $3 million to $919 million. The company saw a strong run of success as customers flocked to the company’s shoes and apparel.
Trends changed in 1984 and the company had its first earnings decline. Earnings dropped 29% in fiscal 1984. Two quarters in 1985 saw the company post its first ever losses.
Nike signed Michael Jordan, who had just won an NCAA Championship at the University of North Carolina, to an endorsement deal that included a shoe named after him.
On April 1, 1985, Nike released the Air Jordan shoes in six cities. The shoes quickly became a top seller for the footwear company.
Jordan wore the shoes in NBA games, despite getting fined by the league for not meeting a policy on uniforms and shoe colors. Nike happily paid the fine.
The marketing from Jordan wearing the shoes and commercials included the famous “who said man was not meant to fly” ad featuring Jordan soaring above the rim helped push the demand for the shoes.
Over $55 million in Air Jordans had sold by mid-June 1995. Some people were buying the wrong size of the shoe just to say they had it in their collection.
Today, Air Jordan has endorsement deals with colleges, soccer teams and individual NBA athletes including Luka Doncic, Zion Williamson and Russell Westbrook.
Investing In Nike: The struggle for Nike’s financials could have created a buying opportunity for investors if they believed the Air Jordans would be successful.
Shares of Nike traded at a high split-adjusted price of 14 cents per share on April 1, 1985. A $1,000 investment in Nike stock could have purchased 7,142.86 shares of NKE.
Those shares would be worth $1,142,143.31 today based on Nike’s share price of $159.90 at the time of writing.
A $1,000 investment in Nike shares turned into a million-dollar investment over the last 36 years.
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