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HISTORY OF THE BRAND - Nike

Nike, Inc. is an American multinational corporation that is engaged in the design, development and worldwide marketing and selling of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories and services. The company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, in the Portland metropolitan area, and is one of only two Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Oregon. It is the world's leading supplier of athletic shoes and apparel and a major manufacturer of sports equipment, with revenue in excess of US$24.1 billion in its fiscal year 2012 (ending May 31, 2012). As of 2012, it employed more than 44,000 people worldwide. The brand alone is valued at $10.7 billion making it the most valuable brand among sports businesses.

The company was founded on January 25, 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, and officially became Nike, Inc. on May 30, 1978. The company takes its name from Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. Nike markets its products under its own brand, as well as Nike Golf, Nike Pro, Nike+, Air Jordan, Nike Skateboarding, and subsidiaries including Cole Haan, Hurley International, Umbro and Converse. Nike also owned Bauer Hockey (later renamed Nike Bauer) between 1995 and 2008. In addition to manufacturing sportswear and equipment, the company operates retail stores under the Niketown name. Nike sponsors many high-profile athletes and sports teams around the world, with the highly recognized trademarks of "Just Do It" and the Swoosh logo.

Nike, originally known as Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS), was founded by University of Oregon track athlete Philip Knight and his coach Bill Bowerman in January 1964. The company initially operated as a distributor for Japanese shoe maker Onitsuka Tiger (now ASICS), making most sales at track meets out of Knight's automobile.

According to Otis Davis, a student athlete whom Bowerman coached at the University of Oregon, who later went on to win two gold medals at the 1960 Summer Olympics, Bowerman made the first pair of Nike shoes for him, contradicting a claim that they were made for Phil Knight. Says Davis, "I told Tom Brokaw that I was the first. I don't care what all the billionaires say. Bill Bowerman made the first pair of shoes for me. People don't believe me. In fact, I didn't like the way they felt on my feet. There was no support and they were too tight. But I saw Bowerman make them from the waffle iron, and they were mine."

In 1966, BRS opened its first retail store, located at 3107 Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica, California. By 1971, the relationship between BRS and Onitsuka Tiger was nearing an end. BRS prepared to launch its own line of footwear, which would bear the Swoosh newly designed by Carolyn Davidson. The Swoosh was first used by Nike on June 18, 1971, and was registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on January 22, 1974.

In 1976, the company hired John Brown and Partners, based in Seattle, as its first advertising agency. The following year, the agency created the first "brand ad" for Nike, called "There is no finish line," in which no Nike product was shown. By 1980, Nike had attained a 50% market share in the U.S. athletic shoe market, and the company went public in December of that year.

Together, Nike and Wieden+Kennedy have created many print and television advertisements, and Wieden+Kennedy remains Nike's primary ad agency. It was agency co-founder Dan Wieden who coined the now-famous slogan "Just Do It" for a 1988 Nike ad campaign, which was chosen by Advertising Age as one of the top five ad slogans of the 20th century and enshrined in the Smithsonian Institution. Walt Stack was featured in Nike's first "Just Do It" advertisement, which debuted on July 1, 1988. Wieden credits the inspiration for the slogan to "Let’s do it," the last words spoken by Gary Gilmore before he was executed.

Throughout the 1980s, Nike expanded its product line to encompass many sports and regions throughout the world. In 1990, Nike moved into its eight-building World Headquarters campus in Beaverton, Oregon.

Nike has acquired several apparel and footwear companies over the course of its history, some of which have since been sold. Its first acquisition was the upscale footwear company Cole Haan in 1988, followed by the purchase of Bauer Hockey in 1994. In 2002, Nike bought surf apparel company Hurley International from founder Bob Hurley. In 2003, Nike paid US$309 million to acquire Converse, makers of the Chuck Taylor All-Stars line of sneakers. The company acquired Starter in 2004 and Umbro, known as the manufacturers of the England national football team's kit, in 2008.

In order to refocus on its core business lines, Nike began divesting of some of its subsidiaries in the 2000s. It sold Starter in 2007 and Bauer Hockey in 2008. The company sold Umbro in 2012, and Cole Haan in 2013. As of 2013, Nike owns two key subsidiaries: Converse Inc. and Hurley International.

Nike Inc. will buy back $8 billion of Nike's class B stock in 4 years after the current $5 billion buyback program is completed in second quarter of fiscal 2013. Up to September 2012, Nike Inc. has bought back $10 billion of stock.

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AdidasAntiguaBleacher CreaturesBulletinCalhounCCMCollege ConceptsCopaCoverooCufflinks Inc
DiadoraFilaFootball CultureFor Bare FeetForever CollectiblesFranklinFruit of the LoomG-IIIHummelChase Authentics
JAKOJF Sports CanadaJH DesignJunk FoodKappaLevelwearLittle EarthLogoArtLottoMacron
MajesticMcArthurMitchell & NessMounted MemoriesMustangNew EraNikeOld Time HockeyPaniniPhoto File
PumaRed JacketReebokRiddellSherwoodSiskiyouSkootzSpaldingSpawnSportiqe
Sports CoverageSteiner SportsThe Hockey NewsThree60 GearUhlsportUltimate Sports KitUmbroUnder ArmourVineyard VinesVOmax
WarriorWinCraftZephyr'47 Brand5th & Ocean

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