Nike

By: Malcolm Jennings

How it was started

In the early 1960's, one of the largest companies ever was created. In his Stanford University business class, Phil Knight was assigned a paper one how he could create his own company. He wrote about how he could start his own track shoe company. He started to realize that he might actually be able to start this company. And the company Nike was born. Well, not quite.

Progression

At first, Phil Knight was selling Japanese shoes from a company called Onitsuka. the brand name of these shoes was "Tiger". Their first order was five pairs of blue and white Tiger shoes. When Phil Knight was asked the name of his company, he had to think quickly because he had forgotten this step. He said the first thing he could think of, "Blue Ribbon Sports". This name obviously didn't stick forever.

Soon, Blue Ribbon Sports came up with their first original design, the Tiger Cortez. Then, the Tiger Marathon. Both shoes had new breakthroughs in technology. But Onitsuka and Blue Ribbon had a legal battle, because Blue Ribbon had ordered basketball shoes from another Japanese distributor. In the end, both companies could use models they collaborated on, but only Blue Ribbon could use the model names, such as Cortez.

In June of 1971, 9 years after Blue Ribbon had been founded, Jeff Johnson, an executive at Nike, came up with the name Nike, based off the Greek goddess of victory. Other names were considered, such as Dimension 6. Also, the new Swoosh logo was designed and all new shoes displayed this Swoosh.

The Tiger/Nike Cortez

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Today

Today, Nike is the #1 shoe brand in the world, and is the most chosen athletic shoe brand for professional athletes. Nike has also signed elite athletes to endorsement deals, such as Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, James Harden, and more. Nike continues to grow and release amazing products.

The Founder

Phil Knight created Nike because he wanted to help track athletes run faster with better shoes. He was a track athlete himself in high school and college, and he didn't like the shoes that he ran in. He was also a Stanford Business school graduate. He grew up in Oregon, where the company's headquarters are located.

Phil Knight

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Products

Nike's best selling product was the Air Jordan line, Michael Jordan's signature shoes. Everyone wanted to be like Mike on the court, so they were an instant success. The first pair of Jordans Michael wore were actually banned from the game because of the vibrant colors. Jordan continued to wear them as Nike paid the fine for each game, thinking it would be a good advertising tactic. They were advertised with the slogan, "On September 15, Nike created a revolutionary new basketball shoe. On October 18, the NBA threw them out of the game. Fortunately, the NBA can't keep you from wearing them. Air Jordans from Nike." Another popular line is the LeBron James line. Both of these shoes have become collectibles over the years, and many people collect and wear Jordans and other Nike shoes.

Nike shoes are usually marketed with testimonials and plain folks, using their "Just Do It" slogan, either showing NBA athletes shooting hoops or just a middle-aged man doing push-ups. These commercials support Nike's belief that anyone can be an athlete.

Impact

Nike does things to give back to the community. One thing is their Doernbecher line, which is when a sick child is given the chance to design their own shoes, and have them be released to the public. These are very popular because they are usually crazy, fun colors, because that's what kids like to look at. All profits from the sales of these shoes go to the child's family.
Best Nike Find Your Greatness Commercial - The Jogger