Nike, Inc. is a multinational corporation best known for their involvement in the sportswear and sporting goods industry. They are the largest producer of sports shoes and apparel and their products are known throughout the world. The company is also known for the highly recognizable “Swoosh” logo and the famous slogan “Just Do It.” Nike is heavily involved in sports sponsorships and spends considerable amounts on advertising each year. The headquarters of the company are in Beaverton, Oregon, and it employs over 44,000 people throughout the world. Nike is also one of the most successful companies in the world and reported a revenue of $24 billion in 2012. Let’s find out who founded this well known company.
Who founded Nike?
The company was founded by track athlete Philip Knight and his coach Bill Bowerman (both from the University of Oregon) in January 1964. It was originally called Blue Ribbon Sports and was a distributor of the Japanese shoe company Onitsuka Tiger (ASICS). The company had a humble start and began selling shoes from the back of Knight’s vehicle. They opened their first retail store in 1966 and in 1971 they wound up their relationship with Onitsuka Tiger and prepared to launch their own shoes, which were the first to feature the now famous “Swoosh” logo. In 1976 the company made a major push into advertising and by 1980 they had approximately 50% of the sports shoe market in the United States. Blue Ribbon Sports officially became Nike, Inc. in May 1978.
Did you know?
It was advertising agency executive Dan Wieden who came up with the now famous slogan “Just Do It” for an advertising campaign in 1988. He was inspired by the last words of convicted murderer Gary Gilmore before he was executed (his last words were “Let’s do it”)!