"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift," once said legendary Oregon runner Steve "Pre" Prefontaine.
Given Pre's involvement in the early days of NIKE, it's no wonder that this spirit could be felt right here in an Upper School classroom last week as Andrea Corradini spoke with the Aardvark Business Club.
- Career paths. "I'd been connected to sport all my life," Corradini explained. "I've wanted to work for NIKE since I was 10." But her road to NIKE was not a straight one—she worked at a large investment firm upon exiting college. She shared that this experience helped her greatly in her current leadership role. When it was time, Corradini began a job in a NIKE retail store, then pushed herself hard to secure an EKIN position. (These jobs involve conducting grassroots marketing for the company.)
- Marketing. Companies like NIKE and adidas face challenges in appealing to consumers both around the globe and here at home in Portland. Corradini dialogued with students about the complex calculations, regional knowledge, and extensive research that go into the pricing and marketing of each individual NIKE product. For example, since London is a hotbed for sneaker lovers, NIKE used the exact font one finds on the London Underground and put it on a shoe to appeal to those English trendsetters.
- Youth feedback. Corradini looked around the room at one point and noted that "You all are basically our target market, so we get on social media to find out what you want. But you move so fast it's hard to keep up sometimes!" She noted that young peoples' fashion choices play a large part in shaping how the company currently invests its time and energy.