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One of the most well known companies in the world of sports is Nike. The company specializes in athletic apparel and equipment. The company has grown from a humble beginning of an investment just summing up to $500 to a large corporation known today which has the capacity to employ up to approximately 26000 employees worldwide. Financial statistics show that the company has a huge income of up to $1.4 billion with the total sales being estimated to be $15 billion.

Globalization has stiffened competition in the sports market. For Nike to continue enjoying the success that it has achieved so far it has been seen necessary for the company to adopt a new strategy to enable it remain relevant and competitive in the sport market today. The company management, in the spirit of being competitive, has changed the focus of the company from being product oriented to a category driven company. The management believed that this approach will position the company strategically to meet the needs, tastes and desires of the customers. Major reshuffles were carried out to implement the changes. These big changes resulted to various challenges being faced by the company and eventually leading to slowed pace in the reorganization process. One such category which has experienced a slowed pace in the reorganization exercise is the female fitness category.

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This paper analyzed the barriers, new challenges and trade-offs to the growth of Nike's female product category. The paper also offered some theoretical solutions to the problems that the female product category faces. Four major issues were identified as being obstructive to the female product category: ineffective organizational structure, inferior supply chain management, unsuited market focus and unrecognized products. Correspondingly, to solve these issues key theoretical concepts were examined as solutions to the challenges. These concepts include cross functional integration, collaboration between suppliers and customers (supply chain management), absorptive capacity and sustainable development.

Organizational structure being a critical contributor to organizational efficiency
was discussed at length. Cross functional integration coupled with a clear vision and proper management of Human Resource will make it possible for the effective running of the female fitness product category. Supply chains are also vital in ensuring that the market is served well and as such supply chain management is considered an area which will be examined especially in helping the retailers change the traditional ways of product distribution. Another issue that Nike will need to address is being focused on the customers by enhancing its absorptive capacity which will make it possible for the collection of information which will go a long distance to develop marketing strategies.

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