Track athlete Phil Knight and his coach Bill Bowerman probably weren’t aware that they were creating a brand that would become a multi-billion dollar business today. The casual and athletic footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories, and services company that they created is none other than Nike.

This article is about the evolution of Nike, the largest and most successful manufacturer of sports equipment.  

When the company was founded by Phil Knight in 1962, the main purpose was to import running shoes made in Japan, and in 1963 the first delivery from Onitsuka Tiger Co. was made. 

Phil Knight started his partnership with Bill Bowerman in 1964 and their first retail outlet was opened in 1966. The company was known as Blue Ribbon Sports until 1971, when BRS introduced its Swoosh trademark and the brand name Nike. In the Greek mythology, Nike is the goddess of victory. 

A big step forward was made in 1980 when two million of the company shares were offered, as Nike decided to go public. The shares crossed the $1 billion revenue mark in 1986. 

Since then, Nike has done everything they can to stay on top of the sportswear industry. Their marketing has always been top-notch, and Nike discounts and sales are frequent and generous, as the company wants their products to be both high-quality and accessible to a wide range of buyers.  Nike has endorsed countless professional athletes over the years, making sure that their brand name is linked with some of the most popular names in sports.

Nike started developing new technologies and one of its most famous footwear was created in 1987 when the first Nike Air Max shoe was introduced. The following year it introduced what was to become one of the most famous slogans of all time – “Just Do It”, inspired by Gary Gilmore’s last words: “Let’s do it”.

The end of the last century marked an important milestone for Nike as it started to sell products on the website in 1999, thus making products more accessible to people around the world. 

In 2002 Nike bought Hurley, a sportswear, and equipment company, and in the next year it purchased its bankrupt rival Converse Shoes for $305 million. 

Nike has some serious competition and it is constantly innovating and creating new ideas in order to be the leader in its industry.