You all recognize its logo and know the slogan by heart. But how well do you really know Nike sneakers and the brand behind them?
1. Nike Dates Back to 1964
On January 25th, 1964, the now world’s largest sneakers and athletic wear brand launched. Nike’s founders are University of Oregon’s Track Athlete Phil Knight and his coach Bill Bowerman. The company initially operated as a distributor for Japanese shoe maker Onitsuka Tiger.
2. Blue Ribbon Who?
When Nike was founded, it was known as Blue Ribbon Sports. In its first year in business, the brand sold 1,300 pairs of Japanese running shoes valued at$8,000. Nike didn’t become “Nike, Inc.” until May 30th, 1971. Turning 48 in a month!
3. Breakfast Inspiration
A waffle iron was behind Nike’s first major innovation; the soles on the first Nike sneakers were made with a waffle iron in 1971. Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman was having breakfast with his wife one morning when he realized that the grooves in the waffle iron would make an excellent mold for a running shoe. And so it was!
Nike has acquired several apparel and footwear companies over the course of its history. Some of which it doesn’t own anymore. In 2003 Nike made its biggest acquisition and bought Converse for 309,000,000 dollars.
Nike brand also owns Surf-wear brand Hurley. The 2002 deal is valued at around 100 to $140 Million Dollar.
6. Let’s Do It!
Although very inspiring and empowering the Nike slogan “Just Do It” has a very twisted story behind it. In 1976, Gary Gilmore was the first person in America on Death Row in almost a decade, due to him murdering 2 people with no apparent motive. His lawyers tried to appeal the sentence, but Gilmore insisted on execution.
Before his execution, Gilmore’s last words were “Let’s do it.” The words appealed to advertising executive Dan Weiden, and he pitched the phrase “Just Do It” to Nike executives. At first, they didn’t really like the slogan but still used it in their ads.
Oh, and BTW the name Nike is actually female. In Greek mythology, Nike is the winged goddess of victory. And victory is what Nike does best!
7. Where it all started
Nike’s first ever store opened under the brand Blue Ribbon Sports in Santa Monica, California back in 1967.
8. Award-winning Nike
9. Eco-friendly Nike
Old Nike sneakers are recycled into “Nike Grind” a material used in creating tracks and playgrounds for kids. Nike Grind is a made up of recycled manufacturing scraps, post-consumer shoes from the Reuse-A-Shoe program, and unsellable footwear.
10. $35 for The Swoosh!
The swoosh logo initially cost Nike $35. In 1983, Portland State University student Carolyn Davidson designed Nike’s Swoosh logo and got $35 for it, which equates to about $200 today. A few years later, the designer was celebrated for her work and was given a number of Nike stocks which at one point were valued at around One Million Dollars.
The Nike logo has since changed a couple of times with the Solo Swoosh being one of the most iconic and powerful logos in the world.
11. Nike sneakers around the world
Nike runs stores in more than 160 countries around the world and has over 70.000. Up to 2018, Nike had over a thousand stores scattered across the globe.
12. A real giant
Up to 2018, Nike owned 62% of the world’s athletic shoe market.
13. Largest Nike Store. EVER!
The world’s largest Nike store is in New York City. Spanning six floors and 68,000 square feet. The store incorporates all of Nike‘s digital advances to offer its customers a unique experience.
14. Jordan Brand
Michael Jordan didn’t want to meet with Nike. In fact, his parents made him do it. And look how well that went! Good on Ya, Jordans! Listen to your parents, Kids!
15. 700 WHAT?!
In 1 second, Nike sells an average of 25 pairs of Nike sneakers. That equates for $1000 per second, 66.000 a minute, and a Grand 700.000.000 per week!
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