Phil Knight was one of the cofounders of Nike and served as CEO until recently. It was through his leadership and his vision that he was able to build one of the biggest names in sports. The brand itself is worth over ten billion dollars, which makes it the most valuable name in the sporting world today. Not only that, Nike has built an incredible culture both from the inside aspect of a company to a culture wide Nike movement. Through Phil's strategic leadership in Oregon he was able to build a company that not only was successful but a company that is always on the cutting edge of innovation and advertising. It is obvious that Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman, both cofounders of Nike, have had a tremendous impact on leading this company down a successful road. However, the extent to which these leaders impacted brand image inwardly and outwardly is yet to be determined. This study will be valuable for not only Nike but also for other corporations to see how the leadership of key individuals affects the perception of the brand from both a company and consumer viewpoint. This will play a role in determining what kind of leader is best suited for a company if improved brand image is desired as well as, how communication of the leader within a company such as Nike affects the brand image. .
DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN HOW NIKE'S BRAND IMAGE IS PERCIEVED INTERNALLY AND EXTERNALLY .
The way that the Nike brand is perceived from within the Nike organization is based on alleged factors such as identity, work culture, organizational communication, and if the members understand the brand. In the book Just Do It: The Nike Spirit in the Corporate World by Donald Katz discussion regarding how Nike came about and the past decisions that led Nike to the top of the sports world were explained and studied. .
Katz often mentions in his time spent with Phil Knight, that Knight has a great sense of identity, association, and ownership with the brand itself (Katz 1994).