In 1981, Nike officially changes its name. Nike also creates the Air Force 1 basketball shoe, further validating how effective the company is at managing new technology development, yet also showing how difficult the transition from their R&D labs are to sourcing materials (Barrett, 2003). Nike has learned that working with celebrities is the best brand-building they can do, and in 1984 they partner with Michael Jordan and also start a shoe line dedicated just to him. The results of the R&D and marketing knowledge management working together with Jordan lead to the company reaching $1B in sales in 1986. By this time the company has well-defined knowledge management processes for linking R&D, marketing, sales, branding and finance. In 1987, Nike introduces Air Max, and in 1989, the company enters the European football market. During this time period the "Just Do it' tag line is created in addition to Nike signing Bo Jackson. During this time, Bo Jackson was playing baseball for the Kansas City Royals and paying football for the Oakland Raiders.
The 1990s are a challenging decade for Nike as several acquisitions are made that launch the company into entirely new sports including hockey and golf, with the signing to Tiger Woods in 1996. The company also embarks on an ambitious superstore concept called NikeTown. These stores are located in the major shopping areas of the world's most sports-conscious cities including several in Los Angeles. The rapid expansion into entirely new sports areas and the retail expansion of their own stores both forced entirely new processes for knowledge capture and management onto the company, both of which they were unprepared for. The lack of supply chain planning and forecasting for example led to significant shortfalls of products which would eventually become acute several product generations later (Barrett, 2003). The lack of consistent focus on retail channel knowledge sharing and management would lead to significant shortfalls in training associates in these stores and getting them profitable, which many of them never attained (Sweeney, 2004). During this period of time the lack of ethics with regard to supply chain management and sourcing of products from 3rd world nations would lead to a major consumer backlash and a glaring error in terms of knowledge transfer and knowledge management shortfalls in terms of supplier ethicacy (Kanter, 2008). Nike would continue work through the 1990s and struggle with business models that did not capitalize on their core knowledge management strengths. It is during this decade that the company begins to see the accumulative effects of strong knowledge management in their team-based approach to development and product launch, yet it is also a decade where the glaring lack of knowledge management expertise in