MoneySmartKids/Just Do It
Published 12:20 pm, Tuesday, May 10, 2011
I was inspired by Dan Woog's article last week on keeping learning "relevant" for our kids. One thing that's fun and educational for our children to learn about is the companies they are exposed to on a daily basis in their own lives.
I just returned from my son's baseball game and noticed a number of the kids wearing Nike cleats. That always makes me feel younger than I actually am as I too wore Nike on occasion when I was his age.
After the game, we decided to go online to Wikipedia and read about Nike together and learned tons of interesting facts about the company that sparked a fun conversation in our house that has some financial literacy relevance. Here are some of the interesting things we learned:
The company takes its name from Nike the Greek goddess of victory.
The famous Nike "Swoosh" was created by a graphic design student named Carolyn Davidson for a fee of $35. How "cheated" does she feels every time she sees her creation on the side of the shoe? This reminds me of some of the characters in the Facebook movie "Social Networking" who were cut out of millions.
The first shoe sold to the public carrying the Swoosh was a soccer shoe. Further proof that everything in life can be traced back to soccer!
The company's first product was based on Bowerman's "Waffle" design. Bowerman began experimenting with different potential out soles that would grip the track effectively. How did he create these? He poured liquid urethane into his wife's waffle iron. You see wives; your husbands are not ridiculous but just on the verge of millions with all the similar antics they pull.
The "Just Do It" advertising campaign launched in 1988 was chosen by Advertising Age as one of the top five ad slogans of the 20th Century.
If you remember this one, you are getting old. The NBA banned the first Air Jordan shoe because it did not conform to the league's uniform rules. Michael Jordan wore the shoe anyway and was fined $5,000 a game, which was paid for by Nike, which loved the publicity.
Keeping it relevant makes all the difference in the world. After having this discussion in our house, I hope that our kids will think about the business behind the brand which they have thrust in front of them every day.
You might want to do research on: Wii, Sillybands, or even a restaurant like Five Guys (we're headed there for lunch today if anyone wants to meet us over there).
The hopeful proud parenting moment that I wish for you, that you won't even be within earshot to hear, is your child talking with one of their friends and saying, "Do you know what Nike gets its name from? The Greek goddess of victory." That's when you know you scored a victory taking the time to do this with your kids.
Tom Henske, a Westport resident and partner with Lenox Advisors, a wealth management firm with offices in New York and Stamford, created the Lenox Money-Smart Kids Program. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.