Nike started out as a company called Blue Ribbon Sports, and was founded by track athlete Phil Knight, who attended the University of Oregon. Helping him was his coach and partner Bill Bowerman.
At first, Nike was only a distributor from the back of Phil Knight’s car, getting Japanese shoes from Onitsuka Tiger. As Nike made large sales from the shoes that they were distributing, they had to think of something to design and do for their own company. Blue Ribbon Sports launched a campaign brand ad for their company, to cement their reputation as a shoe seller. They marketed their new logo, a swish sign designed by Carolyn Davidson.
In 1988, an ad launched for Nike with the popular slogan ‘Just Do It’. The slogan, created by Dan Wieden, co-founder of Ad Agency Wieden+Kennedy, boomed and became a hallmark for Nike. It was regarded as one of the best ads and slogans of its time, and increased Nike’s sales and revenues.
Products by Nike
Nike started out making track-running shoes, but progressed into additional sports-related sneakers. Baseball, basketball and skateboarding are some of the sports that popular shoes have been designed for. Michael Jordan signed an agreement with Nike to wear ‘Air Jordan’ shoes, which became a successful sneaker line both on the basketball court and in the street, as a fashion icon.
The Nike ‘Mag’ was a cult success hit, primarily designed as a futuristic shoe to appear in the movie ‘Back to the Future 2’. Released in 1989, the shoe appeared to be self-lacing. In 2016, Nike released the ‘Mag’ under the name ‘HyperAdapt’, which cost over five hundred dollars a pair, and which was auctioned off, with proceeds going to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.