A Success by Two Men

A professor and a student at the origin of an empire

Bill Bowerman, a professor of athletics at the University of Oregon, decided to associate with one of his students, Phil Knight, to create Blue Ribbon Sport, which later became Nike on January 25, 1965. The two men decide to invest $500 each to start their business. It starts from a simple observation, there are no good quality sports shoes and at attractive prices in the American market. At the time, the German Adidas and Puma were largely the market leader, followed closely by Japanese brands. It is through this that the two men begin their activity, they import and resell Japanese models. They managed to sell 1300 pairs of this model in the first year.

The founders of key strategic decisions.

Nike's early years are punctuated by major strategic decisions promoting its growth and entry into this competitive market. As early as 1971, the two men decided to separate from their Japanese partner Onitsuka Tiger and embark on the production of sports footwear. Their goal is to offer quality footwear at attractive prices and products in the USA. That same year, the founders called on Carolyn Davidson, a design student, to create their logo. Their lack of budget pushed them to accept one of its proposals, it would be the Swoosh. In order to have a logo that represents the movement, the comma inspired by the wings of the Greek goddess Niké is therefore chosen.

Knight and Bowerman continued to wear Nike for years.

Both creators have always been at the heart of Nike's success. Despite the tremendous success and the many opportunities to resell their shares, the two men remained at the head of the company. They were the ones who, in 1976, decided to use a pub agency to boost their brand image. They are also the source of the choice of the legendary slogan " Just Do It " Proposed by a communication agency. It was only in 2016, that Phil Knight announced his retirement from Nike, after 51 years in the service of the semicolon. Their innovative and disruptive ideas continue to weigh on the semicolon, always renewing itself in order to keep number one.