Nike, Inc. (NKE - NYSE) started with the sports shoes and is now in about every aspect of sports and sports related equipment. The company is named after the Greek goddess Nike meaning 'victory'.
Nike is headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon.
Bowerman's desire to improve on Tiger's designs, and Knight's drive to drive to do more landed them with a new direction. Johnson gave this new company the name Nike and Bowerman gave them new designs. Within thirty years time Nike is a leader the sports and fitness industry.
- 1962 Bill Bowerman, a track coach at University of Oregon, and Phil Knight, an accounting student and middle-distance runner had the dream of bringing low-priced, high-tech athletic shoes from Japan to the U.S At the time German shoes dominated the industry. That year, after entering business together, shoes from Onitsuka Tiger were sold in the U.S. by Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS).
- 1965 Jeff Johnson, a former rival on the track of Knight's, joined as the companies first full time sales man. He was busy selling shoes out of the back of his van to High Schoolers at track meets. Then in 1966, at 3107 Pico Blvd., in Santa Monica, California, Johnson opened the company's first retail outlet.
- 1971 the Nike Swoosh design was created by a graphic design student Carolyn Davidson. At the time she was paid the sum of $35. She worked for Nike for a few years until they needed a full ad agency.
- 1978 Nike's Air technology is introduced in the Tailwind running shoe. Gas-filed plastic membranes are inserted into the sole of running shoes to provide cushioning.
- 1982 The Air Force 1 basketball shoe becomes the first Nike court shoe to make use of the Air technology.
- 1983 Carolyn Davidson received a gold Swoosh ring with an embedded diamond at a luncheon in her honor has recognition for her design of the Swoosh logo. She also received a certificate and an undisclosed amount of Nike stock.
- 1984 Nike sign Michael Jordan to an endorsement contract and release the first model of his signature shoe, the Air Jordan.
- Late 1980s Nike's "Just Do It" slogan and trademark Swoosh achieves unmatched branding thanks to the help of professional athlete endorsements.
- 2003 Nike made a successful bid to buy rival Converse Shoes for $305 million.
Nike is criticised for using sweat shops in countries like Indonesia and Mexico. The company has been subject to much critical coverage of the often poor working conditions and the exploitativeness of the cheap overseas labor employed in the Free Trade Zones where their goods are typically manufactured. Sources of this criticism include Naomi Klein's book No Logo and Michael Moore's documentaries.