The swoosh logo that represents winged victory and the universally recognized slogan of Let’s do it is no doubt a familiar sight for most people on Earth! It belongs to one of the leading sports brand majors â€“ Nike!
Named after the Greek goddess of victory, this shoe and sports brand has risen to a place where it ensures the victory of many a sporting persona. Through its well-researched and ergonomically-designed shoes and other sports wear that are intended to herald nothing but victory; Nike, Inc. is one of the world’s leading sports and athletics brand today.
Nike was originally called Blue Ribbon Sport and was started in 1964 by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight. The former was a track and field coach and the latter was his student at the University of Oregon. Originally, this sportswear company was headquartered at Oregon and was intended as a retail outlet for a Japanese shoe manufacturer!
Later, they decided to start their own line of shoes in 1971 and that was how Nike was born. Its iconic logo was the handiwork of a graphic design student, Carolyn Davidson, who created this logo based on the wings of Nike the Greek goddess!
The Sprint Begins:
Nike made its first entry into history through the US Track and Field events held at Oregon and it has not stopped sprinting hence! Nike became an entity of its own in 1978 with the incorporation of Nike, Inc. and it was declared a public limited company two years after.
The company began to grow in leaps and bounds, not only through its own inventions but also through its acquisition of other companies and the diversification of its line of products.
Some of its major acquisitions included Cole Hahn, another shoe company, in 1988; Converse, Inc., another of its contemporaries, in 2003; Canstar Sports, a sports equipment producer, in 1994; and Umbro, a sports apparel and equipment company, in 2008. Canstar Sports was later renamed Nike Bauer.
Nike also created its own subsidiaries, including the Nike ACG (all conditions gear), which specializes in the manufacture of extreme sports gear and equipments. It also created its own Techlab division in 2000 to create its own line of sports-technology accessories.
The Endorsements Begin:
One easy and efficient way Nike found to conquer the world market was through its endorsement deals! A great amount of Nike’s worldwide success could be attributed to the great athletic personalities who endorsed it! The list sounds like the who’s-who in the world of sports.
Some of the well-know athletes who have endorsed this brand include Mai Hamm, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and Roger Federer. In fact, Michael Jordan was one of its most popular and most highly-paid endorsers. Although he retired from professional sports in 2003, Forbes magazine claims that he still earns around $60 million annually, from Nike, in the form of royalties!!
The Long Run:
Today, Nike is an international organization with retail outlets in over 170 countries and revenues that long ago crossed the 25 billion mark! And to think it all started with a bank balance of just $1,200!!
Nike might not have started the sports revolution; but according to its co-founder, Phil Knight, had a heck of a run, nevertheless! The popularity of this brand and its ever-increasing revenues and sales speak for itself and the phenomenal success of Nike cannot but be accepted as one of the major happenings of the 21st century!
It is 51 years since this entity came into being; and true to its slogan, Nike just continues to keep doing it!!