If you’re a fan of sportswear and athletic shoes, you might be wondering about the relationship between the two popular brands – New Balance and Nike.
You may have heard some rumors or speculations about their ownership, but don’t worry; I’ve got your back!
In this in-depth article, I’ll answer the burning question, “Is New Balance Owned by Nike?” and provide you with all the necessary information about these two sportswear giants.
So, let’s dive right in!
Does Nike own New Balance? (Quick Answer)
No, New Balance is not owned by Nike. Although Nike did acquire a minority stake in New Balance back in 2006, they sold it in 2012. Currently, New Balance is a company that is privately held and is owned by its chairman, Jim Davis, and its employees. So, the two companies are separate entities and have their own unique history and brand identity.
History Of New Balance
New Balance, a renowned American footwear company, has its headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. Established in 1906 by William J. Riley, the company initially focused on manufacturing arch supports and orthopedic shoes to improve shoe fit. The company’s name, “New Balance,” was inspired by Riley’s observation of chickens and how their three-clawed feet provided the perfect balance. The company has come a long way since its humble beginnings and is now known for crafting durable, high-quality shoes that cater to a diverse range of customers. Their excellent warranty program, commitment to manufacturing in the USA, and focus on supporting various athletic activities have contributed to their popularity and success.
History of Nike
Nike, on the other hand, is a multinational corporation founded in Beaverton, Oregon, in 1964 by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight. Initially named Blue Ribbon Sports, the company started as a distributor for the Japanese shoemaker Onitsuka Tiger (now known as ASICS). In 1971, the company changed its name to Nike, inspired by the Greek goddess of victory, and introduced its iconic “Swoosh” logo. As the largest sportswear manufacturer globally, Nike has a diverse portfolio of brands, including Converse, Hurley International LLC, NIKE Golf, Cole Haan, Umbro Ltd., and Jordan Brand. Over the years, Nike has become synonymous with innovation, performance, and style, attracting millions of customers worldwide.
Are New Balance and Nike the same?
Although both New Balance and Nike are well-known for producing athletic footwear and sportswear, they are not the same company. While they do share similarities, such as their focus on creating high-quality products and sponsoring professional athletes, their ownership, brand identity, and core values differ significantly. New Balance emphasizes its commitment to domestic manufacturing and offering a wide range of sizes and widths, while Nike is known for its marketing prowess and cutting-edge technology.
Who Owns New Balance?
New Balance is currently owned by its chairman, Jim Davis, and its employees. Jim Davis purchased the company in 1972 and transformed it into the global brand that it is today. The company’s ownership structure allows it to maintain its independence and focus on its core values, such as domestic manufacturing and a commitment to its employees.
You can also read: Are new balance for old guys
What Brands Does Nike Own?
Nike owns a diverse portfolio of brands, each catering to specific customer segments and providing unique products and experiences. These acquisitions have allowed Nike to strengthen its market position and expand its reach into various market segments. Here’s an overview of the brands under the Nike umbrella:
- Converse: Acquired by Nike in 2003, Converse is an iconic American footwear company known for its classic Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers. Converse has a rich history dating back to 1908 and has been a popular choice among athletes, musicians, and artists alike, giving it a unique cultural significance.
- Hurley International LLC: Nike purchased Hurley in 2002, a brand focused on surfwear and skateboarding apparel. Hurley’s casual, youthful vibe resonates with the action sports community, and its collaboration with Nike has led to innovative products that cater to this market segment.
- NIKE Golf: Although not an acquired brand, NIKE Golf is a subsidiary that focuses on golf equipment, apparel, and footwear. In recent years, Nike has shifted its golf strategy to concentrate primarily on apparel and footwear, discontinuing its production of golf clubs, balls, and bags.
- Cole Haan: Nike acquired Cole Haan, a luxury footwear and accessories brand, in 1988. However, Nike decided to divest itself of Cole Haan in 2012 to focus on its core sportswear business. During their time together, Nike integrated its innovative technology into Cole Haan’s products, such as the “Nike Air” cushioning system.
- Umbro Ltd.: Nike bought Umbro, a British sportswear brand, in 2007. Umbro specializes in soccer gear, including footwear, apparel, and equipment. In 2012, Nike sold Umbro to focus on growing its own soccer business and streamline its brand portfolio.
- Jordan Brand: The Jordan Brand, a subsidiary of Nike, was created in 1997 as a result of the partnership between Nike and basketball legend Michael Jordan. The brand has since become a cultural phenomenon, with its Air Jordan sneakers and apparel being highly sought after by athletes and sneaker enthusiasts.
These brands have helped Nike diversify its product offerings, penetrate new markets, and consolidate its position as a global sportswear leader. By acquiring and integrating these brands into its portfolio, Nike has expanded its reach and strengthened its appeal to a broad range of customers.
Which is better: New Balance or Nike?
New Balance and Nike are both giants in the world of athletic footwear and apparel, but which one is better? The answer ultimately depends on individual needs, preferences, and priorities. Let’s explore some key aspects of each brand to help you make an informed decision:
Quality and Craftsmanship: New Balance has a reputation for producing high-quality, durable shoes with a focus on craftsmanship. Many of their products are manufactured in the USA or the UK, ensuring top-notch quality control. Nike, on the other hand, is known for its innovative designs and cutting-edge technology. They offer a wide range of products that cater to various sports and activities, utilizing materials and manufacturing techniques that enhance performance.
Fit and Comfort: New Balance is renowned for offering a wide range of sizes and widths, accommodating various foot shapes and ensuring a comfortable fit. This makes them a popular choice among people with unique foot requirements or those who struggle to find the right fit in standard shoe sizes. Nike is no slouch in the comfort department either, with many of their shoes featuring advanced cushioning and support systems like Nike Air and React foam.
Style and Design: Nike is often seen as the trendsetter in athletic footwear, with its designs frequently making fashion statements both on and off the field. Their collaboration with high-profile athletes and celebrities has led to some of the most sought-after sneakers in history, such as the Air Jordan line. New Balance, while more understated in its design approach, has gained a loyal following among those who appreciate the brand’s classic, timeless styles and subtle colorways.
Price and Value: In terms of pricing, New Balance shoes tend to be more affordable than their Nike counterparts, offering great value for the quality and comfort they provide. Nike shoes, especially limited-edition releases and collaborations, can fetch high prices due to their popularity and hype. However, both brands offer a range of products at various price points to cater to different budgets and preferences.
Sustainability: Both companies have made strides in sustainability and environmental responsibility, using recycled materials, reducing waste, and implementing energy-saving practices in their production processes. New Balance has been working on initiatives like the “Green Leaf Standard” to minimize its environmental footprint, while Nike has introduced its “Move to Zero” campaign to strive towards zero carbon emissions and zero waste.
In conclusion, it’s hard to definitively say which brand is better, as each offers unique advantages and appeals to different consumer preferences. The best choice for you will depend on your specific needs, style preferences, and budget. Both New Balance and Nike provide high-quality, comfortable, and stylish footwear options, so you can’t go wrong with either one.
In this in-depth exploration of whether New Balance is owned by Nike, we’ve delved into the histories of both brands, their ownership structures, and the relationships between them. To recap, both brands are different and Nike does not own New Balance.
New Balance, an American footwear company headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, was founded in 1906. Nike, a multinational corporation, was established in Beaverton, Oregon in 1964. Although Nike did acquire a minority stake in New Balance in 2006, they sold it in 2012, and currently, the two companies operate independently.