Factfile On... Sports Shoes
• Basketballer Chuck Taylor was the first celebrity used to market sports shoes in the 1920s. Since then his signature, as part of the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars logo, has graced 550 million pairs sold worldwide.
• In the 1990s, Michael Jordan received $20 million a year to endorse Nike. Currently, Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo receives about $1.5 million a year to wear Nike gear.1
• An upstart in the 1960s, Nike is now the number-one sports-shoe producer, selling $9.2 billion-worth of shoes a year.1
• Eighty per cent of Nikes are not used for any athletic activity.1
• Nike’s famous swoosh logo was created in 1971. A student, for a fee of $35, designed one of the most recognizable corporate logos worldwide.2
Upper: leather, tanned via a 20-step process using strong chemicals. Chemicals from tanneries in South Korea are discharged into the Nattong River along with other industrial pollutants, making tap water undrinkable.
Midsole: includes custom-designed EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) foam - a composite of several chemicals which when combined and baked release tiny air bubbles, giving the shoes their cushy feel.
Below the heel: is a small amber-coloured polyurethane bag filled with a pressurized gas. According to a UN report on global warming, pressurized sulphur hexafluoride gas in the trademark bubbles in Nike's Air shoe is a global-warming agent 22,000 times more damaging than carbon dioxide.1
Outer soles: styrene-butadiene rubber, synthesized from petroleum and local benzene.
Advertisement for a Chinese factory
Salary of a Nike contract worker in Indonesia: $2.60 a day
Number of years needed for Nike contract worker to make the same as Nike CEO Phil Knight earns in one year: 98,644
Percentage of Nike's marketing expenditure required to ensure all Indonesian workers receive a living wage: 4 %
Reebok's international sales in 1999: $1.197 billion
Reebok's annual marketing budget: $435 million
Percentage of marketing spend needed to double the wages of 40,000 workers making shoes in Philippines and China: 10 %
1 Colours No 36. 2 www.nikebiz.com 3 John C Ryan & Alan Thein Durning Stuff: the Secret Lives of