Creative Brief

A Brief History of Nike Air

Air in the Seventies

Born in Ohio in 1925, Marion Franklin Rudy (that’s him, below) was an aerospace engineer, and left his career in the late ’60s to pursue creative solutions for other industries. Among his more audacious ideas: placing tiny air bags in the soles of athletic shoes to soften impact. He pitched his air-bag innovation to 23 shoe companies; all rejected him. Then, in 1977, he presented his vision to Phil Knight. The Nike co-founder took an air-cushioned prototype for a test run around the Beaverton campus, and returned to his office intrigued — Rudy’s shoe had an unprecedentedly smooth ride. Nike had found Air.

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Nike Air Max – info from Wikipedia link

Brand value of the sports company Nike worldwide from 2016 to 2020

(in million U.S. dollars)

Most Valuable Apparel Brand? Nike Just Does It Again

·         Nike remains the world’s most valuable apparel brand, valued at US$32 billion

·         H&M expands its e-commerce footprint and enjoys a 24% boost in value

·         Zara’s flexible business model provides competitive advantage, bolstering value

·         Anta grows 67%, increasing its international presence through player deals

Every year, leading valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance values the brands of thousands of the world’s biggest companies. Brands are first evaluated to determine their power / strength (based on factors such as marketing investment, familiarity, loyalty, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation) and given a corresponding letter grade up to AAA+. Brand strength is used to determine what proportion of a business’s revenue is contributed by the brand, which is projected into perpetuity to determine the brand’s value. The world’s most valuable apparel brands are ranked and included in the Brand Finance Apparel 50 2017.

Nike has retained its position as the world’s most valuable apparel brand after a 13% rise in brand value to US$32 billion. Its brand strength score of 92 and AAA+ rating renders Nike the most powerful brand in the sector and third most powerful across all sectors. The brand’s strength is partially attributable to the apparel giant’s ability to continuously innovate and deliver state-of-the-art products to a range of consumer demographics. Last year, the brand released the anticipated self-lacing HyperAdapt sneakers popularised by the sci-fi movie, “Back to the Future”, as well as becoming the first major commercial athletic apparel brand to announce a plus-size workout and clothing line.

Alongside its tangible products, Nike’s delivery of powerful messages through its marketing campaigns undoubtedly bolsters its brand value and strength. Its “Equality” campaign encourages people to take their attitude on the court or field off-court, demonstrating the same fairness and respect in their everyday interactions. Nike has also recently introduced the high-performance hijab for Muslim athletes. The new product seeks to normalise the fact that women – religious or otherwise, are equal to men in the sporting world. Nike’s constant involvement in promoting an active, positive lifestyle both inside and outside the scope of sport will continue to positively impact its brand value and strength.

H&M is the second most valuable apparel brand with a brand value of US$19 billion after 24% growth. Whilst the Swedish company continues to expand its network of physical stores, opening 442 in 2016 alone, it is redirecting some of its efforts towards expanding its e-commerce operations to cater to the rising popularity of online shopping. The competitive business model and its investments in IT will aid it in generating future returns as it develops in emerging markets.

Spanish giant Zara is the third most valuable brand, valued at US$14.4 billion after an impressive 43% growth. The brand has seen total sales rise 14.5% and net profits were up 9% last year. Unlike the more rigid business models of other apparel brands, the flexibility that comes with Zara’s fast fashion model allows it to adapt its clothing to unpredictable circumstances such as unusual changes in weather and the brand’s value flourishes as a result of this competitive advantage. 

Marc Jacobs is the fastest growing brand in the table, its brand value growing 84%. This is attributed in part to its recent restructure which involved folding its widely distributed “diffusion” collection Marc x Marc Jacobs into its main line to offer a wide range of products under a single unified brand in an attempt to move upmarket and fortify the brand name of each collection. If the restructure proves successful, the luxury apparel’s brand value will continue to rise.

Chinese sports and footwear brand, Anta, is the second fastest growing brand in the table, its value up 67% to US$2 billion. While the brand is still relatively unfamiliar to those outside of China as the home market has always been a priority, Anta is increasingly shifting its focus overseas. Having secured a deal with NBA player Klay Thompson, Anta has successfully established a direct-to-consumer e-commerce relationship in the US. If Anta continues to effectively penetrate international markets, the increased recognition of its brand will drive its brand value up further.

Background – How did this project come to life?

I wear Nike Air Max when I go out especially DJing. They are very comfortable and funky. I always thought I want to design my sneakers and match with my outfit. I’ve studied 3D and I would like to modify the design and make limited edition Nike Air series.

The audience

Who is the target audience? Is there any background research on them?

What’s driving retail’s sneaker obsession?

A rising tide of consumer interest pushed sneakers to the top of the hot product list, and limited edition collections kept them there as brands jockey for position.

Exclusive Sneakers market place links

Proposition / Promise / Benefit

3 Things Marketers Can Learn From Sneaker Brand Marketing | WMI

Ever since Carrie Bradshaw stepped out in her beloved Manolo Blahniks, designer shoes have become an obsession for millions of women. But now, it seems that sneakers may have stolen some of the hype. A pair of $250 Adidas Yeezy Boost sneakers created by Kanye West can set collectors back thousands in the resale market. In the U.S., sneakers are now a $34 billion business, with Millennials contributing $21 billion to the category. To better understand how top-selling brands are fueling demand for their products, we looked at the key brand marketing strategies Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour are using to hype the hottest styles.


Nothing creates demand for products like exclusivity. Footwear brands excel in creating rare, limited edition sneakers that sell out within days. This is particularly appealing to image-conscious Millennials and GenZ teens, who desire unique, one-of-a-kind products. In addition to generating buzz through influencers and social media campaigns, the brands allow each retailer to receive only a limited number of units made available through an in-store lottery system. Controlling both retailer supply and the consumer’s ability to purchase the shoes has been a successful strategy for generating excitement about limited edition drops.

Style and Innovation  

Global footwear brands are focusing on offering the most stylish and innovative products. Trends include bright color, hologram effects, and textured fabrications. In addition to proprietary colorways, brands are offering consumers the ability to create bespoke sneakers with customized color and pattern. Sneaker marketers are also jumping on their consumer’s love for the latest tech gadgetry with sometimes gimmicky innovations that include self-lacing sneakers, 3-D printing, and embedded computer chips that measures distance, stride, and calories burned.


Although celebrity endorsements aren’t the marketing win they once were, this is one category where sports and music stars continue to shine. From Michael Jordan to Kanye, Rihanna to Demi Lovato, celebrities sell sneakers. Why? Authenticity is key. Instead of just enlisting a star-of-the-moment, brands are collaborating with celebrities and sports superstars who embody the ethos of the brand and making sure the collaborator’s vision is expressed in the design.  

Athletic footwear brands have tapped consumers’ passion for exclusive, innovative, and authentic products. Brands that develop insightful consumer personas, have a clear understanding of their path-to-purchase, and at the heart of their strategy, a media plan to reach them, will win. Women’s Marketing can help you reach your target when and where they’ll be most receptive to your message.

Sources: Transparency Market Research Global Athletic Footwear Market Affected by Counterfeiting of Products, August 2015, Statistic Brain Footwear Industry Statistics 2015, The Washington Post, Sneaker Wars: How Basketball Shoes became a billion dollar business, January 2016


  1. Week 1 – Creative brief & Iterations of concept
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  1. Hours of work
  2. Applications – Maya, Cinema 4D, Zbrush, Substance Painter and After Effects
  3. Internet, communication and logistics

Risk (Artist perspective)

  1. Designing the sneakers will be the biggest challenge
  2. Learning Cinema 4D for product design
  3. Time management
  4. Modeling high detail of 3D sneakers
  5. Motion design with various applications