Nike has one the most well known names and logos in the world. Nike engages in design, development, and global marketing of footwear, apparel, equipment, and accessories. The company sells athletic shoes for just about every sport in existence, including baseball, volleyball, cheerleading, and wrestling. Nike operates in over 140 countries all over the world. For over 30 years Nike has been endorsed by some of the biggest names in sports. Grossing revenues in the billions yearly, Nike has maintained its place as the leader in athletic shoes and apparel since its start in the 1960's.
In 1961 Phil Knight, a graduate of the University of Oregon and a former competitive runner, made a deal with a Japanese shoe company called Tiger to import their shoes to the United States. When asked what company he represented, Knight, off the top of his head, replied "Blue Ribbon Sports".
(Becklund, 1994). At the time Germany was dominating the athletic footwear market. Knight had an idea to sale the high quality shoes at low prices in the United States in an attempt to end Germany's dominance. He began selling the shoes out of the trunk of his car. His first year's sales reached $8000. However, he only made a $250 profit (Becklund, 1994). He then decided to seek the advice of his college track coach, Bill Bowerman. Bowerman was a living legend at the University of Oregon. He was a very accomplished teacher and coach who was responsible for an exceptional track and field program at the university. All his athletes and colleagues loved him. He was even said to have "brought jogging to the United States"(Heritage/nike.com). His list of accomplishments grew even further when he joined Phil Knight as partner of Blue Ribbon Sports. Bowerman came up with an idea that changed the athletic footwear industry forever. He took a rubber compound and placed it in a waffle maker. He took the result and glued it to the bottom of some shoes.