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NIKE - a brand or a tale of true sportsmanship.

The history of Nike

Nike Just Do it

The birth of Nike dates back to around 1963. A creation between Bill Bowerman, a race track coach, and Phil Knight a short distance athlete. The two set up their first company that went by the name -Blue Ribbon Sports. A company whose initial business model was to import high-tech, high-performance athletic running shoes from Japan and sell them in the United States.

They when with this business model until around 1970 when Bill Bowerman got a confliction with such a business model. Bowerman believe that he could come up with a company that would be able to produce better athletic shoes than the ones they imported from Japan. He also believed that their final product would be cheaper and more available as they will be able to control the whole process from when the shoes are manufactured to when they reach the customer's hands.

They started experimenting with several raw materials especially rubber and waffle iron. Bowerman then came up with an MVP which he referred to as the Nike Waffle Outsole.

After the production began one of the heads of sales as the company, Jeff Johnson, saw it wise to come up with a new brand name for the company to make it more appealing and welcoming to the customers. He based the name on the Greek Mythology's gods - the goddess of victory.

The two founders, Bowerman and Knight went ahead to begin mass production of the Nike Waffle Outsole and branded their new athletic footwear under the Nike brand name.

In mid-1971, they found a potential for their brand's logo a Swoosh. A design that was created by a Portland University graphic design student - Carolyn Davidson.

During their initial contact with Carolyn Davidson, the Nike brand paid thirty-five dollars for the logo. However, they had an agreement that she would be made an employee in the advertisement department. Where she was solely responsible for advertising since they had no agency at that time.

Later own the Nike founders went ahead to give her stock in the company as a means of compensating her for her immense impact on the general brand and identity of the company.

In 1979 Nike started introducing ranges of their brand of shoes beginning with the Air Technology. Air Technology was a shoe cushioning system that was developed by Frank Rudy. The Technology solely involves the placement of a gas pocket within the soles of the athletic shoe. The technology was initially used in the Tail Wind Shoes.

1982 was the year that saw the production of the initial Air Force Ones. Shoes that were primarily made for the basket court. In 1984, Nike went ahead to sign the all-time basketball legend Michael Jordan as a means for them to launch a new classy product, the Air Jordan. In its initial market introduction, the shoes were disallowed in the basketball court by the NBA, this came in handy for Nike as they got a high public buzz that made people curious about the shoes. Making the customers want the Air Jordan Shoes more and more.

In 1987, Nike make an improvement on their air cushioning technology leading to the production of the Air-Max Range of shoes. The shoes had the best intro since their advertising campaign was themed by a song by The Beatles - one of the legendary music groups of back them.

In 1989, Nike endorsed Bo Jackson as the face of their training shoe promotion. By 1988 they has started using their slogan "Just do it" and was officially launched in Nikeland Stores in 1990.

The company started getting a lot of national and international attention and got several awards on product design and off-the-roof business operation. One of those happened in 1996 after they launched their premium store - Niketown New York.

In 1991, Nike launched a reuse-a-show program one of the initial moves towards sustainable product design and development. Basically what they did was recycle all the soles of their rubber shoes. On top of that, in 1998, the brand launched a social responsibility model intending to improve education, offering micro-loans to businesses and individuals and improved manufacturing conditions. In 1999, Bill Bowerman died at the age of 88.

NIKE - a brand or a tale of true sportsmanship

In 2002, the singer, rapper and songwriter Nelly wrote and performed a song about Air Force Ones. A song that went to top the US Music Charts.

In 2003, as a means of dominating the market and reducing competition, Nike acquired Converse Shoes one of their competitors for a price of $305 Million. At this time, Nike was already an international session and a global athlete brand.

In 2004, Phil Knight stepped down as CEO to assume the role of Nike Board Chairman, leaving the position of CEO to William D. Perez. The same year Nike was suited by a cartoonist by the name of Zhu Zhiqianq for plagiarism. The case was based on the fact that Nike had been using his stick figures in their advertising and commercial programs. Zhu won the lawsuit even though Nike denied the allegations. They were ordered to pay Zhu a sum of $36, 000. That year Nike made a revenue of around $13 Million.

In 2005, the Nike brand launched the 20th Edition of the Jordan Air Force 1 shoes. They ended up naming it Air Jordan XX. This year they went ahead to launch Nike Considered. An Eco-friendly range of shoes primarily meant to reduce waste.

Nike continued to make athletes and sportspeople their core partners in promoting their shoe ranges. They went ahead to partner with the entire Brazilian Soccer team and even signing the legendary and controversial golfer Tiger Woods.

With the rise of the High School Super Star and MVP LeBron James, Nike went head over limps to recruit him. They went ahead to sign Camelo Anthony from University to keep their Jordan Range of shoes alive.

Our Thoughts

Today, Nike has grown and matured not only to the clothing for your feat but also to a symbol of true sportsmanship. With its involvement in all sporting events from the marathons to the Olympics to NFL to NBA to Soccer. Being not only a partner to the sports community but a fashion brand as well.