How Nike Built a Global Financial Empire

The Beginnings of Nike

Nike, Inc. started out as Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964, founded by University of Oregon track athlete Phil Knight and coach Bill Bowerman. The company initially operated as a distributor for the Japanese shoemaker Onitsuka Tiger, now known as ASICS.

The Evolution of the Swoosh

After Blue Ribbon Sports ended its partnership with Onitsuka Tiger, it rebranded as Nike in 1971. The iconic “swoosh” logo was designed for $35 by graphic design student Carolyn Davidson. The logo has since become one of the most recognizable logos in the world.

The Booming Success of Nike

Nike became a force to be reckoned with in the 1980s and 1990s, thanks in part to strategic marketing campaigns and high-profile endorsements from athletes such as Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. The company’s revenue exploded, reaching $9.19 billion in 1998.

Expansion and Diversification

Nike expanded into new markets and diversified its offerings, creating products for various sports, including basketball, soccer, running, and golf. The company also acquired several other brands, including Converse and Hurley International.

Challenges Along the Way

Nike has faced criticism and controversy over the years for labor and human rights violations in its factories, as well as the use of sweatshop labor. The company has since taken steps to improve working conditions and increase transparency in its supply chain.

The Legacy of Nike

Today, Nike is one of the world’s most valuable brands, with a net worth of over $34 billion. Its products are sold in over 190 countries, and the company continues to innovate and push boundaries in the worlds of sportswear and athletic performance.