The Creation of Nike

If you Google Nike you get over 825,000,000 results. Wikipedia’s description for Nike is, ‘an American multinational corporation that is engaged in the design, development, manufacturing, and worldwide marketing and sales of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories, and services.’ Basically meaning that Nike is a worldwide brand that makes things for people from their head to their toes. Now everyone knows about Nike, in fact if you look in your closet you probably have a couple of Nike products, but did you know this about Nike:

Nike wasn’t the original name

On January 25th, 1964 Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight founded Blue Ribbon Sports. They changed their company name to Nike, Inc. years after on May 30, 1978.

Blue Ribbon Sports

Originally Nike was only a distributor for Onitsuka Tiger, now known as Asics.


What does Nike mean?

Nike is actually the Greek goddess of victory.

nike goddess.png

Who made the ‘swoosh’?

In 1971, Carolyn Davidson, a graphic design student at Portland State University, created the infamous ‘swoosh.’ Originally she called the ‘swoosh,’ ‘the stripe’ and was paid a whopping $35.


What did Nike start off as?

The first shoe that had a ‘swoosh’ on it was a running shoe. They debuted it in 1972 at the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon.


The first Nike ad was a print ad that released in 1975.

Nike finish ad 0.jpg

nike finish ad 1.jpg


Nike Cortez

Modeled after the popular Onitsuka Tiger Corsair. At first glance they’re very similar but Nike incorporated an EVA wedge and a slightly more runner-appropriate silhouette.


Who was the first athlete they signed?

John McEnroe (Tennis) signed an endorsement contract with Nike in 1978.


In 1980

Nike attained a 50% market share of the U.S. athletic shoe market, going public later that year.

Air Force 1

In 1982 Nike made it’s most iconic model, the Air Force 1. This shoe was named after the president’s plane, the Air Force 1. This was the first basketball sneaker to incorporate air technology.



Nike owns Converse Inc., Hurley International, Umbro, and Cole Haan



‘Just Do It’

Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ slogan was created in 1988 and is now enshrined in the Smithsonian National Museum.

just do it.jpg

Link for Just Do It speech:

Nike’s R&D facility

Nike’s Research and Development facility was originally opened in Exeter, N.H. not Beaverton, Ore.


Nike Blazer

Geoff Petrie was one of the first NBA players to wear Nike, so they gave him a shoe named the Blazer after the team he played for, the Portland Trailblazers.


nike blazer.jpg

Columbia Blue

This color was created by Nike for the Columbia Lions, and is now used by Johnston Senior High School.


Nike’s First Retail store

Jeff Johnson opened the first Nike retail store in Santa Monica, Ca. not in Beaverton, Or.

The Beatles

The popular song ‘Revolution 9’ by the Beatles was used in an Air Max commercial and was their first time using a song to sell a product.


Link for commercial here:

Nike lost at Sea

A cargo ship full of Nike sneakers was lost on its way from South Korea to the U.S. Air Solo Flights, Strike Forces, and Pegasuses have been found floating in the ocean.



Nike Clothing

Originally most of Nike’s upper management didn’t think that athletic clothes were of importance.

Jordan Line

Nike only expected $3 million in sales from the Jordan line in the first 3 years. They booked $130 million in the first year alone.



Nike’s worldwide brand value in 2017 is $31.76b.




Information Via Complex, Statista, and 22facts
Images Via Pinterest, Complex, and CNN

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