History of Nike
Before Nike was called Nike, it was called Blue Ribbon Sports and was founded by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman in 1964. Phil Knight was a runner and was trained by Bill Bowerman. Bowerman was always on the lookout for ways in which he could improve his student’s performance and looked at ways he could improve their running shoes.
Bowerman tried different things but none worked out. During this time Knight went to Stanford University in order to complete his MBA. It was here that he wrote an assignment proposing that shoes be manufactured in Japan. No one listened and he decided to import shoes from Japan and sold them locally. Knight and Bowerman went into partnership and even though business was slow in the beginning, by 1965 they had made sales to the value of $20 000, an amount that even by today’s standards would be a tidy online blackjack win.
The Early Years
Business started to do well and they made plans to launch a line of their own. It was not easy going, but in 1971 they had come up with a lighter training shoe with an outsole with waffle-type nubs which gave extra traction. These new trainers made their debut in 1972 at the US Track and Field Trials.
Steve Prefontaine was their first brand ambassador. In 1979 they launched Nike Air technology. This meant that they were able to strengthen their place in the market and were looked at as successful competitors in the field of trainers. Nike grew exponentially during this time and they decided to move toward Initial Public Offering at the end of 1980. Nike became very popular with fitness enthusiasts, and by 1982 Nike was the number 1 supplier of athletic and training shoes in the US.
“Just Do It”
The famous “Swoosh” and their tagline “Just Do It” was a recognisable symbol in US households. In 1985 Nike developed shoes for then NBA rookie Michael Jordan and as his popularity increased, sales continued to climb. Nike then started to design apparel and other cross-training accessories. Nike signed multiple international teams and in 1996 they signed Tiger Woods for the amount of $5 million per year.
Nike continued to launch new editions of their trainers. Nike Shox was developed in 2000 and became popular around the world. Nike is a huge empire today and develops sports apparel and trainers for all sorts of sports such as tennis, soccer, baseball, cricket and athletics.
The combination of Bill Bowermans’s desire to help his athletes and Phil Knight’s business acumen has made Nike one of the most successful and well-known companies in the world. Nike has 1 182 retail stores worldwide and makes billions in revenue each year. Over the years Nike has bought and sold many companies. Nike employs over 44 000 employees and the brand is worth billions. They have also developed a special line of trainers for athletes.
Nike’s success is attributed to their innovation and good investments done at the right time and this has made them one of the most successful companies in the world.