Sustaining The Nike Swoosh

The sports apparel powerhouse Nike, Inc. has recently released big changes in the news by announcing a partnership with Swiss company Bluesign Technologies.  The partnership will accelerate the supply of sustainable materials and chemistries for use in all Nike products.  What does that mean exactly?  Well, it means Nike is going green – they are taking steps to make the production of their textiles more sustainable for their workers, customers, and environment.

Though I bet not many of you have heard of Bluesign Technologies, their company is quite interesting.  They have also partnered with The North Face on a journey to sustainability.  The link provided here ( is a short video which details great information regarding Bluesign; how they work, the benefit of using their technologies, and how it can better the environment.  Basically, Bluesign is an input management system.  They know everything that thNikeey put into their production and calculate the effect of a chemical used in a textile regarding their air emissions, water emissions, and how it affects the workplace so that they know the outcome a chemical has before even starting production.

Nike is utilizing two of Bluesign Technologies that will provide Nike’s supply chain with access to roll out the tools across Nike’s global supply chain.  With one of the technologies, Bluefinder, a supplier can access pre-screened sustainable textile preparations including dye systems, detergents, and other chemicals used in the manufacturing process.  The benefit of this tool is that it helps suppliers manage restricted substances and increase water/energy efficiency.  The second tool Nike will utilize is Blueguide which gives Nike access to 30,000+ materials produced using chemicals from the Bluefinder at facilities that have undergone rigorous assessment.

Nike is pursuing to enhance their sustainable material strategy.  They are looking to put a set of positive chemistries in the hands of material suppliers by preventing the use of hazardous chemicals.  With Nike using these technologies, they can change production with many manufacturers by having them use technologies in order to produce more sustainable products and increase efficiencies.

I think this is a great partnership for many reasons.  First, as we discussed in class, sustainability is win-win and has a multifold positive impact.  Furthermore, without these technologies Nike’s supply chain had to go through individual factory assessments.  Now, their supply chain will run more efficiently with more innovative products.  With the integration of Bluesign Technologies, materials will be made in a manner which is sustainable between products, the environment, and the manufacturing factory.  The sustainability advantage is not only effective in Nike’s products, but in improving their supply chain by making production more innovative, stable, and of higher quality.  This aspect of their operations management is greatly going to improve Nike to being not only a sports powerhouse, but a sustainable one as well.

 How beneficial do you think the use of Bluesign Technologies will be to Nike?

Do you look more favorably on a company that takes efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and provide more sustainable products- why/not?



Wrong for Wrigley?


When you think of Chicago, some of the thoughts that come to mind are: great food, tourist sites, and sports. Whether you are visiting or living in the city, nearly everyone loves to go to the Chicago Cubs games, unless you are a Sox’s fan, but even then, the charm of Wrigley Field and the surrounding area is something undeniable. So when Tom Ricketts announced the possibility of moving the Cubs outside of Wrigleyville, you better believe he received backlash. The degree of disapproval of the move came from die-heart fans, rooftop owners, and other local businesses. When I first heard that Wrigley Field might be moving, I was heartbroken. All I could think about was the memories my family and I had from going to the games and making a day out of traveling to the city. Even more than contemplating the move, Ricketts is planning a $500 million renovation that will impact the city, fans, and surrounding businesses as a whole.

At first thought, some fans might say to leave Wrigley the way it is. The old nature and lack of high-technology is what makes the field so charming and historic. However, by looking at this situation through Theo Epstein’s mindset, President of Baseball Operations, I have come to see the more important managerial implications that come along with the $500 million renovation. Decisions of forecasting, location, and organizing are all factors in the Wrigley renovation. Theo has to think of the costs/revenues that will be generated by these renovations and compare that to how the location of each addition will impact the field and businesses that surround the ballpark.
For those of you who are not familiar with the renovation, the $500 million plan requires no city or country money. It will provide a video board in left field that will be 6,000 square feet, and a secondary sign in right field that will be 1,000 square feet. The plans also include a three-story addition that will contain new clubhouse, restrooms, restaurants, and potentially an upper-level deck. Furthermore, there have been talks of a proposed hotel on the McDonald’s lot, a two-story Captain Morgan Club, and open-air plaza on the west side of the park.

 There are many pros and cons of the renovation plan. Some thoughts that should be considered are the local businesses – will having more Wrigley restaurants and a hotel take away from local businesses? More importantly, how will the jumbotron affect the rooftops since they bring revenue to the owners and to the city as well?
My question to you is what do you think of the renovation and the managerial decisions that face the Wrigley organization? The location of the jumbotron, hotel, and restaurants are important decisions to consider in the overall effect of the renovation. How do you feel about the possibility of the hotel that will be built right by the ballpark – would you forecast that expenditure to be revenue raising or simply wrong for Wrigley?