Through expansion, trial and error and endorsements, Nike has slowly made their way to the top of the athletic apparel and shoe industry. When looking around a room, what kind of athletic apparel or shoe brands can be found? Most of the time, people are wearing Nike. Nike products have become very popular for people to buy. It rose up from the bottom and became a top selling brand demanded by the public. Nike, the brand once sold out of the back of Phil Knight’s car, has now become one of the most successful and diverse athletic sales companies in the world today.
One of the founders, Bill Bowerman, head coach of the Oregon University Track and Field program was a tremendous coach. Nike Inc. says that before he was the head Track and Field coach at Oregon, he was a student athlete there who played basketball, football and ran the quarter-mile on the track team. After graduating, he started coaching at the high school level and was the head football coach and head track and field coach at his old high school. After going to war, Bowerman came back from World War II and a year later was hired as the head track and field coach at Oregon where he met Phil Knight.
Phil Knight was a talented middle-distance runner from Portland, who enrolled at Oregon and competed for Bowerman’s track program. According to the Nike Inc. website, Knight went on to graduate college and decided to produce a cheaper, better-quality running shoe. He made a deal with Onitsuka Tiger Company originating from Japan. Knight’s company, Blue Ribbon Sports, got sample shoes from this company and had them imported into the United States. The website goes on to tell how Knight sent a few samples to his former track coach at Oregon University. Bowerman transformed the shoes into cheaper, better-quality running shoes by removing the original sole and adding a rubber sole which allowed the shoe to weigh less. Bowerman and Knight sold the shoes out of the trunk of Knight’s car. When reviewing the information from Nike Inc. Knight was not only an athlete but also a businessman.
After a few years of sales with Tiger Shoe Company, Bowerman and Knight decided to produce their own shoes and launch their Nike line. Nike’s image was created when “they selected a brand mark today known internationally as the “Swoosh,” which was created by a graphic design student at Portland State University named Carolyn Davidson.” (Nike Inc.). In just five years Nike went from a multimillion dollar company to a multibillion dollar company. Their “Just Do It” logo has spread all over the world and caused the company to become a global powerhouse. Advertising was a giant factor in marketing Nike’s products. When Nike went viral, sales shot up instantly. Having a website allowed customers to view all angles of the merchandise, which did provide an option to customize shoes to match their unique personal style. Additionally, making and ordering shoes from home was another way Nike used to sell their stuff. Bowerman and Knight wanted the top athletes to endorse Nike’s shoes. The idea of having athletes compete in Nike gear was pure genius. When the athletes were seen on TV, they were seen wearing Nike shoes. This sparked viewer’s interest in the shoes, resulting in people going out and buying themselves a pair. People wanted to wear what the best athletes in the world were wearing. Another big part of Nike’s success in the early 1980s was due to the release of Michael Jordan’s Air Jordan line of shoes.
Nike signed an endorsement deal in 1985 with Michael Jordan, one of the biggest basketball legacies in the world today. Michael Jordan created his own line of custom high performance basketball shoes and apparel that impacted the company more than expected. Jet Magazine stated that “I have been involved in the design of everything I have worn from Nike since we began our relationship in 1984” (Jordan 1.) Fans of Jordan wanted to wear what he was wearing which caused sales to