Even a cursory look at Nike’s European headquarters in Hilversum tells you this is one company where sports are taken very seriously. The extensive corporate campus is packed with athletic facilities and employees from over 70 countries, who are mostly fit individuals with an average age of just 33.
Over the past decade, sales volume out of the European headquarters in Hilversum has tripled, from $1.8 billion in 1997 to $5.3 billion in 2012. Global sales total over $21 billion. Today, Nike is the number one company in the world in the sporting goods industry. And its contact and commercial relationships with some of the world’s fastest-growing markets originates from Hilversum.
Nike’s presence in the Netherlands dates back to 1992, when it opened a small office in Hilversum with just 20 employees. Since then, its investment in the country has followed the same meteoric trajectory as its sales. By 2000, the company had 400 employees at Hilversum. Today, its full-blown corporate campus and 1,410 employees make Nike the city’s single largest employer.
Though Holland’s transportation system is what originally attracted Nike to the Netherlands, the company has since discovered other reasons to favor Dutch soil. “Today, we like the Netherlands for a number of reasons: the quality of the workforce, the very ‘international’ attitude of the country, our great relationship with the government and the fact that the government is very supportive of continuing education,” said a Nike spokesperson. “Our company has had a very positive experience in the Netherlands. We’ve made a substantial investment here and we plan to be here long-term. The Netherlands does feel like home.”