For many years Nike, has been a leading sportswear manufacturer and is one of the most famous brands in the world. Its story starts during the late 1960s and early 70s. Since 1964, accounting lecturer Phil Knight and sports coach Bill Bowermann had been successfully selling sports shoes under the name "Blue Ribbon Sports". In 1971, Phil Knight commissioned the then graphic design student Carolyn Davidson to design a logo that would communicate speed and movement. For $35, Davidson designed the now highly-acclaimed Nike swoosh. The following year, with its new logo, Nike Inc. was founded and the shift from retailer to producer was made. The first collection was launched and thus began the unique growth of the sports brand. Davidson later received a more adequate reward for her logo design, when in 1983 she was presented with a diamond-studded, gold Swoosh ring and an unknown number of Nike shares which, due to the success of the brand, will allow her a secure retirement.
The Nike brand stands for absolute performance and maximum success. From an early stage, Nike collaborated with famous and successful athletes. The company initially focused on track athletes, but the real breakthrough came in the late 80s when it took the decision in 1984 to give emerging basketball talent Michael Jordan a contract. By the end of the Air Jordan career, this stroke of luck had added an additional revenue of 2.6 billion dollars to the Nike brand, cementing its place as the world's leading sporting goods manufacturer with a reputation that is only comparable to the likes of Coca Cola or McDonalds.
And so, Nike became a cult. Stars and celebrities from the film and music industry consistently wear Nike in their free-time and on stage. Nike’s product range has also extended beyond sporting goods, shoes and clothes apparel. Like other sporting goods manufacturers, Nike also offers a range of lifestyle products such as streetwear, watches, sunglasses and cosmetics with other famous brands, such as Converse, being integrated into the Nike corporation. However, the focus has always remained clearly on the sports and leisure sector. Thanks to its work with successful athletes such as Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong, and through the
Stand up, speak up! campaign, which fights against racism in football, Nike has been the subject of much positive attention in recent years.