Nike is a worldwide company that supplies stores all over with athletic shoes and sports equipment. The company was founded on January 25th, 1964 by Bill Bowerman and Philip Knight under the name of Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS), however the name was changed to Nike on May 30th, 1978. Knight was a student track athlete for the University of Oregon and Bowerman was his coach.
Bowerman allegedly made the first pair of Nike shoes for Phil Knight, however, Otis Davis, a student coached by Bowerman and winner of two gold medals at the 1960 Summer Olympics, was adamant that the first shoes were made for him and even went on to say the shoes were too tight and didn’t have any support.
Blue Ribbon Sports first operated as a distributor for Japanese shoe maker Onitsuka Tiger (now ASICS). Knight and Bowerman made most of their sales out of the back of Phillips car during track meets. In their first year, BRS already sold 1,300 pairs of Japanese running shoes and by 1965, the company had a full-time employee with sales reaching $20,000. Their first retail store opened in 1966 in Santa Monica, California.
The Blue Ribbon Sports company was growing but their partnership with Onitsuka Tiger was coming to an end and by 1971, the company wanted to break away and start their own line of footwear. This is how the ‘swoosh’ on all of their products originated.. It was first used on June 18th, 1971 and was then registered with the U.S patent and trademark Office. The ‘swoosh’ is the logo for Nike which means Goddess of Victory. Now many retailers sell a great line of Nike clothing branded with the famous ‘swoosh’ symbol.
In 1977 the agency created the first “brand ad” for Nike called “There is no finish line”. By 1980, Nike had obtained a 50% share in the U.S. athletic shoe market and went public in December. The company continued excellent sales and according to Dan Wieden, co-owner of Wieden+Kennedy Ad Agency, the famous “Just Do It” slogan for a 1988 ad campaign was inspired by death-row inmate Gary Gilmore who said “Let’s Do It” as his final words!
Nike has continued to grow and prosper through the years and it is now a major selling athletic company that sponsors athletes and provides gear for them. Nike golf has also become a huge sector for the brand, with golf icons Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy sponsored by the brand for record breaking figures. The affordable range of golf clothing is worn by the sporting icons throughout major golfing tournaments, with identical Nike items available to buy in stores. There is a wide selection of Nike golf clothing available to buy online from numerous retailers, including golf clothing store, Function18.
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