07 Mar Why You Need to Move to Footwear’s ‘Silicon Valley’
Oregon’s largest city is often depicted as a hipster haven of countless brewpubs, indie bookshops, knitting circles and artisanal coffeehouses. But alongside the cyclists, vegans and gardeners is a hub of athletic brands, contractors, headhunters, retailers and marketing agencies that have transformed Portland into a key destination for those looking to pursue a career in the athletic footwear industry.
At the centre of this buzzing ecosystem, also home to Adidas and Under Armour, is Nike. The athletic brand, which was co-founded by Phil Knight in 1964, who began by selling running shoes out the back of his car, is the biggest player in the world’s athletic-wear market. In 2015, the business’ global revenue amounted to about $30.6 billion, of which $8.5 billion was generated from its athletic footwear business, accounting for almost half of the nation’s athletic shoe market (the US athletic footwear industry generated $17.2 billion in 2015, reported the NPD Group).