The History of Nike, Inc.

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The History of Nike, Inc.

Nike, Inc. is a United States sportswear and equipment manufacturer and supplier. A major sponsor of star athletes and sports teams throughout the world, Nike is well known for its "Just Do It" and Swoosh logo trademark.

The Seed: 1950s

Bill Bowerman, a track-and-field coach at the University of Oregon, began to make shoes for his runners, implementing his ideas for competitive advantage. A member of his track program, Phil Knight, approached him with a shoe sale, having been made a distributor for a company in Japan called Tiger, and both men decided to forge a partnership.

The Founding: 1960s

In 1964, Bowerman and Knight formed Blue Ribbon Sports, selling Tiger shoes out of Knight's vehicle. They did not just sell them, though; Bowerman began ripping the shoes apart to see how he could make them lighter and better in performance.

Morphing Into Nike: 1970s

Eventually, Blue Ribbon Sports grew from a footwear distributor to a designer and manufacturer of their own shoe brands. Thus came the "Swoosh" logo, the change of the company name from Blue Ribbon to Nike, and their debut line of footwear in 1972.

Growth: 1980s

The decade was marked by the debut of the "Just Do It" ads and popular shoe lines like the Air Max. Also, famous athletes like Carl Lewis, Michael Jordan and Bo Jackson endorsed Nike's products.

Further Growth: 1990s

Nike established its world headquarters in Portland, Oregon, where it had all began. Moreover, Nike's dedication to sponsorship grew beyond the more popular sports.

Global Leader: 2000s to Present

Nike is the brand most synonymous with sportswear. Today, it is the largest manufacturer and supplier in the world.

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