Facts about Nike

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1.Nike was Blue Ribbon Sports at Founding

In 1964, when it was first founded, Nike was called Blue Ribbon Sports. It served as a distributor for a Japanese Shoe Making Company, Onitsuka Tiger, which today is called Asics. In 1971, Blue Ribbon Sports was officially renamed Nike Inc. Originally, the founder wanted to rename it to “Dimension 6”. The name Nike is derived from Greek’s goddess of victory. Jeff Johnson, the first employee at Nike coined this name.

 2.Nike Inc. Founders

Nike Inc. was started with 1200 dollars in the bank. It was founded by a middle distance runner, Phil Knight, from Portland while studying at University of Oregon and a track and field coach, Bill Bowerman. Initially, Nike shoes were crafted inside waffle iron. In 1971, Bowerman got his first breakthrough in footwear innovation while making waffles with his wife. This inspired the thought for a grooved design on the sole to aid athletes in gripping running tracks. The idea yielded the “Nike Waffle Trainer” design that got a patent in 1974.

3.Gary Gilmore inspired the “Just Do It” Slogan

A serial killer named Gary Gilmore inspired the slogan that Nike uses, “Just Do it”. Just before his execution in 1977 by a firing squad, Gilmore said “let’s do it”. The revelation about the source of inspiration for the “Just Do It” slogan was made on a documentary on advertising named “Art and Copy” in 2009. In1988, the first campaign of the “Just Do It” slogan was launched featuring an 80 year old icon, Walt Stack, slowly moving across San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

 4.Nike Royalties

Though he stopped playing professional basketball in 2003, Michael Jordan earns 60 million dollars each year in Nike royalties. He is by far, the athlete who holds the largest Nike endorsement deal.

 5.Nike’s First Endorsement Deal

Professional tennis player of Romanian origin, Ilie Nastase was the first athlete to ever sign a Nike endorsement contract in 1972. Nastase, a talented tennis player was also popular for erratic temperament that got him slapped with several suspensions, disqualifications and fines during his athletic career.

 6.The Beatles in Nike’s Ad

In a 1987 Nike ad to popularize the Air Max shoe product, the Beatles “Revolution” song was used as the sound track. This was the first time that a Beatles song was used on a TV commercial.

 7.Nike’s Largest Store

The biggest Nike store in the world is not found in the brand’s homeland, the U.S. Rather, the store is located on Oxford Street in London. This store cost 10.5 million British pounds to construct and it spans over 3 floors, covering about 42,000 feet.

 8.The Nike Swoosh

A student in graphic design at Portland State University, Carolyn Davidson designed the Nike Swoosh for $35, about $200 in present day currency in 1971. At first, Phil Knight was not enthused by the design but opted to allow it to grow on him over time. Eventually, Knight realized the value the logo had created and gave Carolyn Davidson a golden ring with diamond and stock whose value is over $640,000 today.

 9.Footwear is Nike’s Core Revenue Source

Despite the fact that Nike offers a broad range of products including socks and shirts, footballs and basketballs, footwear remains its core source of revenue. In 2014, sales from footwear accounted for more than 58% of Nike’s total revenue.  Nike also tends to resonate better with male as opposed to female populations.

 10.Hurley International and Converse are Owned by Nike

Converse, famous for Chuck Taylor shoes established in 1917 was acquired by Nike for more than $300 in 2003. Hurley International, popular for producing skateboards and surfing boards was acquired in 2002 by Nike


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