Does Nike's recent acquisition of Converse strengthen Nike's position?

Essay by cuteboy March 2004

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Nike's takeover of Converse took place in July 2003 for $305 million, with Converse's management team remaining the same and Nike running Converse as a separate entity. Converse was bought by a group of private investors in 2001 due to bankruptcy, since then it has successfully reestablished itself as a brand. One should look at various elements of the acquisition, and subsequently examine the strengthening of Nike's competition against rivals such as Reebok, Adidas and Puma.

Firstly, there would an increase of brand awareness of Nike, as it has a larger target audience, (due to take over of Converse), meaning wider scaled advertising, hence circulating more product awareness. Thus, one can infer a slight growth in Nike's competition against the aforementioned rivals.

Exploitation of cheap labour markets is something Nike is notorious for. Conversely, Converse's brand equity and justness should aid in promoting an ethical stance for Nike, presumably attracting more consumers, hence making Nike more competitive against rivals.

Though cited by an article in the Washington Post Company, this may be weakly restrained initially by some ethic-conscious, Converse consumers:

"I love these shoes, but I'll never buy a pair again...I don't like Nike's labour practice..."