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Emergence of the Nike Corporation

            When an individual thinks about an athletic shoe, or even athletic equipment in general, a handful of names come to mind. One of these names is guaranteed to be Nike, a multi billion-dollar athletic equipment empire run by Phil Knight. But Nike has not always been a huge money making corporation. It also had to start from the drawing board.
             As a college student in 1957, Phil Knight meets Bill Bowerman at the University of Oregon, a track coach and they become very good friends. After graduating, Knight leaves to pursue a MBA at Stanford while Bowerman continues to coach and play with an athletic shoe design. After earning his MBA, Knight takes a world tour. He stops in Japan and contacts Onitsuka Tiger Company, creator of quality athletic shoes, and persuades them of great business opportunities in the United States. They join a partnership under the name "Blue Ribbon Sports". .
             In 1962, Knight receives the first shipment of Tiger shoes. He and Bowerman each put in $500 to make Blue Ribbon Sports an official project: the sole U.S. distributor of Tiger shoes. While Bowerman improved the shoes, Knight looked after the business. Annoyed by local credit limits, Knight gets import letters of credit with a Japanese trading company in 1971. With these contracts, Blue Ribbon Sports and Tiger's partnership ends and a young business named after Nike, the Greek Goddess of Victory, begins. Nike products are introduced at the 1972 Olympic Trials. Knight and his wife print Nike t-shirts and pass them out at the events.
             In 1973, Knight modernizes the entire product process and creates an industry standard. By 1979, Nike claims half of the U.S. market and in 1980 the company goes public. Nike International, Ltd. is created to service an increasing market that covers more than 40 countries across the world.
             As Nike transforms from a small to a large company, they have their harsh times. By 1988, Nike grows into a more mature and wiser corporation.

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