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Nike, Inc.

Nike, Inc.

Nike, Inc. is an American sportswear and athletic equipment company founded in 1964 by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman.

Overview

Nike, Inc. is an American sportswear, sneaker, and athletic equipment company that was founded in 1964 by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman. The company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, in the Portland metropolitan area. Nike has been consistently ranked as the world's highest valued apparel brand every year from 2015 to 2021. Nike was valued at over $30.4 billion in 2021.

History

Nike, Inc. was founded in 1964 under the name Blue Ribbon Sports. The company was founded by Phil Knight, a student-athlete, and Bill Bowerman, his track-and-field coach at the University of Oregon. Bowerman liked to experiment with different designs for athletic shoes to be lighter and faster, and took a pair of Knight's shoes and customized them with his own design. The shoes worked well, and Knight began thinking of production logistics. He later enrolled in an MBA program at Stanford University, where he wrote an essay detailing the financial benefits of moving shoe factories from Germany to Japan.

Knight traveled to Japan in search of a shoe company with products he could import and represent under his own brand in America. He discovered the popular brand Onitsuka Tiger and set up a meeting with its executives, in which he discussed the content of his Stanford essay. They liked his business idea and sent shoe models for Knight and Bowerman to review. Once the two approved of them, the pair established Blue Ribbon Sports in early 1964 and partnered with Onitsuka.

Around 1970, Knight discovered that Onitsuka was scouting other American distributors during the same time frame as his company's contract with them, which went against the rules of the contract. In addition, Onitsuka wasn't sending orders to Blue Ribbon Sports in time, they were not sending all of the ordered items, and they sent incorrect shoes.

Knight then ordered football shoes from a company in Mexico. These would become the first official Nike shoes. They designed the swoosh logo and came up with the name Nike, named after the Greek goddess of victory, and began selling them under the new name. The exact year of the company's name change from Blue Ribbon Sports to Nike, Inc., is disputed to be either 1971 or 1978, depending on the source. Ordering the new shoes from Mexico did not break their end of the contract because the supply agreement with Onitsuka had only included running shoes. The two companies separated in 1971. In 1973, Onitsuka attempted a lawsuit against Blue Ribbon Sports, alleging that the Nikes copied their Tigers and breached their contract. In response, Knight filed a lawsuit against Onitsuka, alleging that the company had broken the contract by soliciting other distributors. Blue Ribbon Sports won their lawsuit and were awarded damages by Onitsuka.

In 1974, Nike's first running shoe was released, called the Waffle Trainer. The idea for the shoe came from Bill Bowerman experimenting with a waffle iron and a shoe sole. The idea was to create a spikeless running shoe that would work well on an artificial surface, grass, and bark dust.

In 1980, Nike, Inc. completed its first IPO, starting at 18 cents per share. The company announced a $12 billion share buyback and a two-for-one stock split in November 2015. In 2019 Nike, Inc. announced another share buyback program for $15 billion, set to begin when the 2015 program completed.

Endorsements and partnerships

Nike, Inc. has signed a number of high-profile athletes over the years. The company signed Michael Jordan in 1984, and the Air Jordan sneaker line was launched. In 1996, it signed Tiger Woods. In 2003, Nike, Inc. signed both Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. In 2008, it signed Derek Jeter. In 2018, Nike released an ad campaign with Colin Kaepernick. In March 2022, Nike announced a partnership with Kobe Bryant's family to release a shoe line honoring his legacy.

Timeline

April 27, 2022
NIKE, Inc. acquires RTFKT.
April 23, 2022
Nike and RTFKT releaes their first digital sneakers, called "Cryptokicks."
March 24, 2022
Nike announces partnership with Kobe Bryant's family to honor Kobe's legacy with a new shoe line.
November 2, 2021
Nike, Inc. files seven trademarks for virtual goods, indicating intent to sell virtual branded products.
August 2, 2019
Nike, Inc. extends its partnership with NWSL through 2022.
1993
Nike, Inc. launches its Reuse-A-Shoe program for recycling old shoes.
1980
Nike, Inc. completes its first IPO.
November 9, 1973
Onitsuka sues Blue Ribbon Sports for breach of contract. Blue Ribbon Sports files a countersuit against Onitsuka for the same reason.
1971
Blue Ribbon Sports and Onitsuka Tiger split.
1964
Nike is founded under the name Blue Ribbon Sports and partnered with Onitsuka Tiger.

Products

Acquisitions

Patents

Further Resources

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

News

Title
Author
Date
Publisher
Description
Joanna Glasner
October 1, 2021
Crunchbase News
When Netflix announced this week that it acquired Night School Studio, the deal prompted us to look at other corporate giants to see where their startup acquisition records stand.
Rob Davies and Jasper Jackson
September 18, 2021
the Guardian
Household names may have unwittingly helped spread fake news, investigation reveals
Alexandra Topping
September 3, 2021
the Guardian
Businesses are becoming increasingly aware that exhaustion is a ticking timebomb
Zee News
August 31, 2021
Zee News
Take the time to unwind, destress and spend time with your loved ones. Do not work, Marrazzo said. It s not just a week off for the team... it s an acknowledgment that we can prioritise mental health and still get work done, he added.
Kalyeena Makortoff
August 31, 2021
the Guardian
Sportswear and sneaker brand joins dating app Bumble in offering extra time off in Covid pandemic
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References

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