Nike (NYSE: NKE) is about as ubiquitous in sports as it's possible to be, at least in the U.S. That ubiquity, however, means slow growth in the States, and the company is turning to global markets to propel it to its goal of a 40% increase in sales by 2015.

Central to this goal is expanding sales in emerging markets such as China, India, and Brazil, but Europe is also important, according to Mark Parker, the company's CEO. The company will rely on a traditionally non-American brand, Umbro, to make inroads into Europe.

According to The Wall Street Journal,

Mr. Parker, who has led Nike since 2006, is also counting on getting strong growth from non-Nike labels, including Umbro, a venerable English soccer sportsclothes maker that Nike bought three years ago for $582 million. ...

[Amid] Nike's heated rivalry with Adidas AG — Mr. Parker is stepping up plans to expand the company's soccer label. Nike believes Umbro can become a bigger player worldwide, though its biggest early impact may be in helping Nike make gains in Europe, a market that Adidas still dominates.

In the past, Nike has been able to breathe new life into Converse, a basketball brand. And it's attempting a similar strategy now with Umbro, although some analysts believe that Umbro needs a more substantial image makeover than Converse did. Using Umbro to move deeper into the continent could make a lot of sense, given some Europeans' image of Nike as an American company.

Given its aggressive sales goal, Nike will need all the help it can get. Will Nike meet its targets? My Foolish colleague Mike Pienciak breaks it down here.

Jim Royal, Ph.D., owns no shares of the companies mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Fool has a disclosure policy.