“Just Do It!” Part I by Chrystina Wyatt

One of my favorite brands is Nike! I absolutely love the products and consider myself a Nike spokesperson because I only wear Nike athletic gear.  Since my mom bought my first pair of Nike tennis shoes I have been hooked.  As much as I love Nike, I never thought of where it came from and knew little about its origin besides the fact that it was started in Oregon.  After some researching I was very intrigued to the information I found.

Nike’s origin all starts with a University of Oregon track and field coach named Bill Bowerman and his runner Phil Knight.  As a coach, Bowerman was always looking for ways to give his athletics an advantage of the competition.  He experimented with several ways to improve his runners including with footwear.  Ignored by the manufacturers of the time, he started making his own shoes.  As I mention, Knight was one of runners and was inspired by his coach.  After graduation, Knight went on to Stanford University and earned a MBA in Finance.  As apart of his studies he wrote a paper that sparked the fuse he needed to create a vision.  Knight made moves and convinced Japanese manufacturers to create a sample shoes.  He brought his product to Bowerman and with a “hand shake” the two became partners.

In 1964, the pair invested $500 each and started Blue Ribbon Sports.  They ordered 300 pairs of shoes in January of 1964 and sold the shoes out of the trunk.  Meanwhile, Bowerman continued experimenting and tearing apart shoes to improve the quality.  He tested his experiments on his athletes, which is a technique Nike still uses today, using athletes as “guinea pigs.”


Celebrity Networth. (n.a.). (n.d.) Phil Knight Net Worth. Retrieved July 31, 2012, from http://www.therichest.org/celebnetworth/business/men/phil-knight-net-worth/

Goldstein, Richard. 1999, December 27. The New York Times. Bill Bowerman, 88, Nike Co-Founder, Dies. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/1999/12/27/sports/bill-bowerman-88-nike-co-founder-dies.html

Nike, Inc. (n.a.). (n.d.). History & Heritage. Retrieved July 31, 2012, from http://nikeinc.com/pages/history-heritage#

Oregon Secretary of State. (n.a.). 2011, Jan. Notable Oregonians: Phil Knight – Innovator, Business Leader. Retrieved from http://bluebook.state.or.us/notable/notknight.htm


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