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Nike, Inc.

Nike, Inc. (NKE - NYSE) started with the sports shoes and is now in about every aspect of sports and sports related equipment.

  • 1962 Bill Bowerman, a track coach at University of Oregon[?], and Phil Knight, an accounting student and middle-distance runner had the dream of bringing low-priced, high-tech athletic shoes from Japan to the U.S. At the time German shoes dominated the industry. That year, after entering business together, shoes from Onitsuka Tiger[?] were sold in the U.S. by Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS).

  • 1965 Jeff Johnson, a former rival on the track of Knight's, joined as the companies first full time sales man. He was busy selling shoes out of the back of his van to High Schoolers at track meets. Then in 1966, at 3107 Pico Blvd., in Santa Monica, California, Johnson opened the company's first retail outlet.

Bowerman's desire to improve on Tiger's designs, and Knight's drive to drive to do more landed them with a new direction. Johnson gave this new company the name Nike and Bowerman gave them new designs. Within thirty years time Nike is a leader the sports and fitness industry.

  • 1971 the Nike Swoosh design was created by a graphic design student Carolyn Davidson. At the time she was paid the sum of $35. She worked for Nike for a few years until they needed a full ad agency.

  • 1979 Nike's Air technology is introduced. Nike used gas-filed bags inserted into the sole of running shoes to specialize their shoes for different uses.

  • 1980s Nike's "Just Do It" slogan and trademark Swoosh achieves unmatched branding thanks to the help of professional athlete endorsements.

  • 1983 Carolyn Davidson received a gold Swoosh ring with an embedded diamond at a luncheon in her honor has recognition for her design of the Swoosh logo. She also received a certificate and an undisclosed amount of Nike stock.

Nike continue to import their shoes from factories overseas. They have been subject to much critical coverage of the often poor working conditions and the exploitativeness of the cheap overseas labor employed in the Free Trade Zones where their goods are typically manufactured. Sources of this criticism include Naomi Klein's book No Logo.

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