Which Sporting Goods Company Promoted Grassroots Sports Competitions as a Means to Boost

Sporting goods companies have long used grassroots sports competitions as a way to boost brand awareness and sales. But which company was the first to really capitalize on this strategy?

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Nike is a global sporting goods company that promotes grassroots sports competitions as a means to boost its brand. Nike also manufactures and sells a variety of sports equipment and apparel. Nike has a long history of sponsoring athletes and teams.

Nike’s History of Supporting Grassroots Sports

Nike is one of the most renowned sporting goods companies in the world, and part of their success is due to their focus on supporting grassroots sports competitions.

Nike began sponsoring athletes in the 1970s as a way to promote their products, and soon began sponsoring entire teams and events. In 1984, Nike created the Nike International Track Meet, which quickly became one of the most important track and field events in the world. The meet helped to raise the profile of Nike as a company, and also promoted grassroots track and field competitions around the world.

In 1992, Nike founded the Nike Premier Soccer League, which was a competition for amateur and semi-professional soccer teams in the United States. The league provided a platform for many young athletes to showcase their talents, and helped to grow the sport of soccer in the country.

Today, Nike continues to support grassroots sports through initiatives like their N7 Fund, which provides grants to Native American and Aboriginal youth programs that use sport as a means of empowerment. In 2019 alone, Nike donated over $3 million through the N7 Fund to support Indigenous youth programs around the world.

Nike’s commitment to supporting grassroots sports is one of the reasons why they are one of the most successful sporting goods companies in the world. Their support helps to grow participation in sport at all levels, from grass roots amateur competitions all the way up to professional leagues.

Nike’s Grassroots Marketing Strategy

Nike, Inc. is an American multinational corporation that is engaged in the design, development, manufacturing and worldwide marketing and sales of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories and services. The company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, in the Portland metropolitan area. It is one of the world’s largest suppliers of athletic shoes and apparel[3] and a major manufacturer of sports equipment, with revenue in excess of US$24.1 billion in its fiscal year 2012 (ending May 31, 2012). As of 2012, it employed more than 44,000 people worldwide. In 2014 the brand alone was valued at $19 billion,[4] making it the most valuable brand among sports businesses.[5][6] The company was founded on January 25, 1964,[7] as Blue Ribbon Sports,[8] by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight,[9][10] and officially became Nike, Inc. on May 30, 1971.[11] The company takes its name from Nike (Νίκη), the Greek goddess of victory.[12][13]

Nike markets its products under its own brand as well as Nike Golf, Nike Pro, Nike+, Air Jordan, NIKE Skateboarding (SB), Hurley International and Converse. Affiliates include Brand Jordan for basketball shoes and clothing; Cole Haan for casual shoes; Jimmy Choo for premium footwear; Umbro for soccer equipment; hurley for surf apparel; Shaq for mass market footwear and Poler for outdoor camping gear.[14][15][16] Nike also operates retail stores under the Niketown name. Nike sponsors many high-profile athletes from a variety of sports to use their products as part of an endorsement contract.

The company is known by most athletes as simply “Nike”, although some such as Tiger Woods choose to visibly wear their Swoosh logo mark on their caps during competition.[17] It has been criticized for contracting with factories (known as sweatshops) in countries such as China,[18][19][20][21] Vietnam,[22][23], Indonesia,[24], Pakistan[25] and India.[26], where working conditions have been alleged to be poor.[27]:246[28]:251 This practice was brought to public attention with reports published in 1991 by Kate Meierding[29]:72-3[30]:42 revealing factory workers were paid 32 cents an hour plus lunch to make Nikes in Kieng Ngai province Vietnam while similar styles were selling for over $100 at retail stores back home.”)

Nike’s Grassroots Marketing Strategy

Nike promotes grassroots sports competitions as a means to boost its brand image among young athletes.

The company believes that by sponsoring events like soccer tournaments or track meets, it can build loyalty among young athletes who will eventually become customers.

Nike’s strategy has been criticized by some who argue that it exploits athletes who are not professional or top-level competitors. However, Nike maintains that it provides opportunities for all athletes to improve their skills and pursue their dreams.


Adidas, a German-based sporting goods company, is the second largest in the world, after Nike. Adidas promotes grassroots sports competitions as a means to boost its brand. The company sponsors events such as the Adidas PureBOOST GO, a running competition in New York City, and the Adidas Berlin Marathon.

Adidas’ History of Supporting Grassroots Sports

Adidas has a long history of supporting grassroots sports competitions as a means to boost both participation and interest in sports. In the early days of the company, Adi Dassler, the founder of Adidas, recognized the value of sports competitions as a way to promote both physical activity and healthy competition. He therefore supported a number of local sporting events in Germany, such as the Bavarian Stadium Races, which was a precursor to today’s marathon.

Dassler also believed that sports could be used as a way to bring people together, regardless of their background or nationality. This belief led him to support international competitions such as the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup. In fact, Adidas has been an official sponsor of the Olympic Games since 1928 and has provided athletes with gear for every edition of the games since then.

More recently, Adidas has continued its support for grassroots sports through initiatives such as its “Create The Answer” campaign. This campaign invited young people from around the world to submit ideas for new sports products or services that could help make sport more accessible and enjoyable for everyone. From this campaign, Adidas launched a number of new products, such as Smart Ball, which is a football that can be used to track player performance, and All Day Raving, which is an online platform that helps people find local sporting events to participate in.

Adidas’ Grassroots Marketing Strategy

Adidas, one of the largest sporting goods companies in the world, has been a major player in the world of grassroots sports for many years. The company has long promoted grassroots competitions as a means to boost its brand and sales. In recent years, Adidas has stepped up its efforts in this area, becoming a major sponsor of various competitions and events around the world.

Adidas’ Grassroots Marketing Strategy | Sports Marketing


Puma SE, branded as Puma, is a German multinational corporation that designs and manufactures athletic and casual footwear, apparel and accessories, headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Bavaria, Germany. The company was founded in 1948 by Rudolf Dassler. In 24 June 2018, French luxury group Kering announced its intention to sell its 87% stake in the company.

Puma’s History of Supporting Grassroots Sports

Puma has a long history of supporting grassroots sports competitions as a means to boost the growth and popularity of the brand. In the early days, Puma sponsored track and field athletes such as Jesse Owens, Carl Lewis, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee. More recently, Puma has shifted its focus to soccer, sponsoring some of the world’s top clubs and players including Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal, and Antoine Griezmann.

Puma’s sponsorship of grassroots competitions has seen the company grow into one of the world’s leading sporting brands. The brand’s support of athletes at all levels of competition is a key part of its success. By investing in athletes at the grassroots level, Puma is able to build long-term relationships with up-and-coming talent that can help promote the brand on a global stage.

Puma’s Grassroots Marketing Strategy

In the 1990s, Puma SE, one of the world’s leading sporting goods companies, launched a series of grassroots sports competitions in an attempt to boost sales and generate brand awareness. The strategy was successful, and Puma quickly became a major player in the sporting goods industry.

Puma’s grassroots marketing strategy involved partnering with local organizations to host competitions in various sports. These competitions were open to all comers, and the winners would receive prizes from Puma. The company also sponsored teams and athletes, providing them with free gear and apparel.

This strategy helped Puma to connect with potential customers at a grassroots level. It also generated a great deal of positive publicity for the company. The competitions were often covered by local news outlets, and the athletes and teams sponsored by Puma received valuable exposure.

Puma’s grassroots marketing strategy was successful because it allowed the company to connect with potential customers on a personal level. People who participated in the competitions or who cheered on the sponsored teams and athletes felt a connection to the brand. This made them more likely to purchase Puma products in the future.


PepsiCo’s Gatorade Rise Up & Compete Sports Marketing Platform was built on the idea that “Every Kid Is an Athlete.” The initiative provided equipment, uniforms, and entry fees for nearly 1 million underserved kids to participate in organized sports leagues and competitions across the country.

The platform was designed to give all kids, regardless of their circumstance, the opportunity to rise up and compete. This was aimed at fostering a love of sport and physical activity, while also teaching life lessons like teamwork, dedication, and resilience.

PepsiCo’s investment in grassroots sports competitions has paid off in terms of both social good and business results. The platform has helped millions of kids get active, while also driving awareness and sales for Gatorade products.

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