"If you have a body, you are an athlete." These words were spoken by Nike's co-founder Bill Bowerman, Olympian, innovator and head track coach at the University of Oregon from 1948 to 1973. Joining with Phil Knight, a middle distance runner on his track team, the beginnings of this huge enterprise were formed. In 1962 after completing his MBA, Knight makes the company name "Blue Ribbon Sports," and begins importing "Tiger" brand shoes, after taking a tour of Japan and realizing the huge marketing opportunity. Hoping to replace the domination of German athletic shoes in the United States, the pair simply put $500 each into the partnership two years later. As the first Blue Ribbon Sports retail outlet opened in Santa Monica California in 1966 they became the exclusive marketer, distributor and seller of the Onitsuka Tiger running shoes from Japan after only a year. Providing concepts for footwear development, Bill Bowerman proposed using a foam cushion heel wedge design, and this began to be incorporated into the shoes. Continuing to make improvements to benefit athletic performance, Bowerman started experimenting with rubber spikes by pouring a liquid rubber compound into his wife's waffle iron in 1970; this would forever change the design of running shoes, as Nike would become famous for these soles. .
After a few years of developing the company, Bowerman and Knight take additional steps to perfect their company, creating the infamous "Swoosh" logo in 1971. For a small fee of $35, the Swoosh trademark was created by a graphic design student named Carolyn Davidson. The same year, employee Jeff Johnson came up with the new company name we all know today, after having a dream of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. This new company name won out over Knight's idea of calling the company "Dimension 6," and the rest is history. In the spring of 1972, the first shoe to include the Nike swoosh was introduced.