Nike: How the Famous Shoe Company Started

The Nike Shoe Company has been around since 1964. It is an American Sportswear company that has its headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. It is among the world’s largest manufacturers as well as suppliers of athletic shoes, apparel and sports equipment in general.

Who are The Founders of the Nike Shoe Company?

This company emanated from two people. The first person is Bill Bowerman who had a quest for lighter as well as more durable running shoes for his Oregon runners. The second person who founded the Nike Shoe Company is Phil Knight. He was searching for a way to make a living without sacrificing his love for athletics. He ran at the University of Oregon in 1959 when Bill Bowerman was a track coach. It is Bowerman’s desire for better quality and durable running shoes that influenced Knight to come up with a marketing strategy for the company.

Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight (right)

What Marketing Strategy Did Phil Knight Come Up With For The Nike Shoe Company?

As the seed of what would be the most influential shoe company in the world was still germinating, Phil Knight went to Japan on a world tour accompanied by other young men looking for a way to delay the inevitable call of professional life. While in Japan, he scheduled a meeting with Tiger, who is a Japanese running shoe manufacturer and a subsidiary of Onitsuka Company. Knight presented himself as a representative of an American distributor that had expressed interest in selling the Tiger shoes to American runners. The executives at Tiger liked what they heard when Knight told them of his interest in their product.

What was Nike Shoe Company like during its Earlier Days?

When Nike Shoe Company was formed, it was known as Blue Ribbon Sports. This is the name that Phil Knight thought of moments after the executives at Tiger shoe company in Japan asked him whom he represented. By 1964, he had sold 8,000 USD worth of Tiger shoes, and he placed an order for more. He continued to work together with Coach Bowerman but he later on hired a full-time salesman known as Jeff Johnson. Knight and other executives at the company devised the Nike name as well as the Swoosh trademark in 1971 after reaching one million U.S dollars in sales and riding the wave of success. It is during this time that they also ended their relationship with the Japanese company.

Who is Behind the Nike Swoosh Logo?

The Nike Swoosh Logo is one of the most recognized company logos in the world right now. It was originally designed in 1971 by Ms Davidson, a then student that studied graphic design at Portland State University. The company is said to have given the girl only $35 for this fabulous design but some sources claim that Knight later gave her a diamond ring that was engraved with the swoosh logo and an unknown amount of stock from Nike. The reason why Knight gave the girl a small amount the first time is because he was not so impressed with her work. But as the popularity of the logo grew, he chose to reward her in a greater way.

We are All Capable of More: Nike's Founders' Philosophy

How Many People has the Nike Shoe Company Employed?

As of today, there have been more than 44,000 people employed by the Nike Shoe Company worldwide. In 2014, the brand alone was valued at 19 billion U.S dollars, making it one of the most valuable brands worldwide among sports businesses. Besides shoes, the company also provides other sports gear, something which increases the number of people that it employs across the world. In order to be more prosperous in future, the company launched a corporate storytelling program that is aimed at making sure that all its employees understand the company’s past. Veteran executives at the company usually spend time telling corporate campfire stories.

What Else is Important to the History of the Nike Shoe Company?

The Nike’s power to sell comes from yearnings for individual athletic accomplishment as well as cultural inclusiveness. Nike shoes have been made to appeal to disparate elements of sporting personalities. The company also uses top-level athletes to promote its shoes, something which appeals to countless ages and creeds as a way of identifying and emulating their athletic heroes. An example is the signing of the renowned basketball player Michael Jordan in 1984 and his subsequent promotion of the company. It proved to be one of the biggest boosts to the company’s sales and publicity.