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Nike History

Nike History


Nike’s Swoosh design logo was created by Portland State University graphic design student Carolyn Davidson when asked by Knight. He needed a logo to put on the side of his company’s shoes. At the time she was paid $35 (US), and also worked for Nike for a few years until they needed a full ad agency. Twelve years later, in 1983, Ms. Davidson received a gold Swoosh ring with an embedded diamond at a luncheon honoring her, along with a certificate and an undisclosed amount of Nike stock, in recognition of the Swoosh design logo.


Nike’s Air technology patented by inventor M. Frank Rudy is introduced in the Tailwind running shoe. Gas-filled plastic membranes are inserted into the sole of running shoes to provide cushioning.


Nike completes an initial public offering of 2,377,000 shares of Class B common stock on December 2.


The Air Force 1 basketball shoe becomes the first Nike court shoe to make use of the Air technology.


Nike signs Michael Jordan to an endorsement contract and releases the first model of his signature shoe, the Air Jordan. Originally, the NBA banned this new shoe, drawing a tremendous amount of publicity. The introduction of the Air Jordan shoe was a key event in Nike’s successful development.


Nike revenues surpass $1 billion for the first time.


The Nike Air Max shoe is introduced, which uses a much larger Air cushioning unit, and for the first time is visible at the side of the midsole. This was the first of many generations of Air Max-branded technologies. A television ad featuring the Beatles’ song “Revolution” was the first and only time that a song performed by the Beatles was used in a TV ad.


Nike introduces its “Just Do It” slogan.


Nike introduces a new type of footwear designed specifically for cross-training, and features two-sport athlete Bo Jackson in a series of memorable ads called “Bo Knows.”


Nike opens the first Niketown store in downtown Portland, Ore., and the store quickly earns numerous retail design and business awards. Over the next 10 years, Nike will open 14 more Niketown stores across the USA and in England and Germany.


Nike introduces an innovative sustainability program, Reuse-A-Shoe, which collects athletic shoes, separates and grinds them up into Nike Grind. this is used in the making of athletic courts, tracks and fields.


Nike signs a long-term partnership with the Brazilian national football (soccer) team, launching a company-wide effort to become the world’s leading football brand.


Nike signs Eldrick “Tiger” Woods soon after the young golfing phenomenon gives up his amateur status. Woods becomes the standard bearer for Nike Golf as that division gains market share.


Phil Knight formally commits Nike to strict standards for manufacturing facilities used by Nike, including: minimum age; air quality; mandatory education programs; expansion of micro loan program; factory monitoring; and enhanced transparency of Nike’s corporate social responsibility practices.


Bill Bowerman, co-founder of Nike, dies on Dec. 24 at age 88.


Introduction of the Shox athletic shoe technology.


Rap Star Nelly releases a chart topping song about Air Force Ones.


A.Nike makes a successful bid to buy bankrupt rival Converse Shoes for $305 million.

B. For the first time in the company’s history, international sales exceed USA sales, as Nike continues to develop into a truly global company.

C. Nike is named “Advertiser of the Year” by the Cannes Advertising Festival, the first company to earn that honor twice (also 1994) in the festival’s 50-year history.

D. High school basketball star LeBron James signs with Nike, while Syracuse University star Carmelo Anthony signs with Jordan Brand. James and Anthony finish 1-2, respectively, in rookie-of-the-year balloting.


Phil Knight steps down as CEO and President of Nike, but continues as chairman. Knight is replaced by William D. Perez as CEO of Nike, effective Dec. 28.

2004 In June, Chinese animator Zhu Zhiqianq, of Xiao Xiao fame, files a lawsuit against Nike for plagiarizing his cartoon stickmen in their commercials. Nike representatives deny the accusations, claiming that the stickman figure lacks originality, and is public domain. Zhu eventually wins the lawsuit, and Nike is sentenced to pay $36,000 to the cartoonist.


A. Nike launches the Air Jordan XX, the 20th edition of the iconic Air Jordan basketball shoe series.

B. Nike launches the Nike Considered line, an effort to reduce waste and introduce eco-friendly products.

C. Business Week Magazine features an article about the enduring popularity of the Nike Air Force One.