Origins and history
Nike, originally known as Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS), was founded by University of Oregon track athlete Philip Knight and his coach Bill Bowerman in January 1964. The company initially operated as a distributor for Japanese shoe maker Onitsuka Tiger (now ASICS), making most sales at track meets out of Knight's automobile. According to Otis Davis, a student athlete whom Bowerman coached at the University of Oregon, who later went on to win two gold medals at the 1960 Summer Olympics, Bowerman made the first pair of Nike shoes for him, contradicting a claim that they were made for Phil Knight. Says Davis, "I told Tom Brokaw that I was the first. I don't care what all the billionaires say. Bill Bowerman made the first pair of shoes for me. People don't believe me. In fact, I didn't like the way they felt on my feet. There was no support and they were too tight. But I saw Bowerman make them from the waffle iron, and they were mine." In 1966, BRS opened its first retail store, located at 3107 Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica, California. By 1971, the relationship between BRS and Onitsuka Tiger was nearing an end. BRS prepared to launch its own line of footwear, which would bear the Swoosh newly designed by Carolyn Davidson. The Swoosh was first used by Nike on June 18, 1971, and was registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on January 22, 1974. In 1976, the company hired John Brown and Partners, based in Seattle, as its first advertising agency. The following year, the agency created the first "brand ad" for Nike, called "There is no finish line," in which no Nike product was shown. By 1980, Nike had attained a 50% market share in the U.S. athletic shoe market, and the company went public in December of that year. Together, Nike and Wieden+Kennedy have created many print and television advertisements, and Wieden+Kennedy remains Nike's primary ad agency. It was agency co-founder Dan Wieden who coined the now-famous slogan "Just Do It" for a 1988 Nike ad campaign, which was chosen by Advertising Age as one of the top five ad slogans of the 20th century and enshrined in the Smithsonian Institution. Walt Stack was featured in Nike's first "Just Do It" advertisement, which debuted on July 1, 1988. Wieden credits the inspiration for the slogan to "Let’s do it," the last words spoken by Gary Gilmore before he was executed. Throughout the 1980s, Nike expanded its product line to encompass many sports and regions throughout the world. Acquisitions
As of September 2012, Nike, Inc. owns four key subsidiaries: Cole Haan, Hurley International, Converse Inc. and Umbro. However, on May 31, 2012, Nike announced its intention to sell both Cole Haan and Umbro. Nike's first acquisition was the upscale footwear company Cole Haan in 1988. In February 2002, Nike bought surf apparel company Hurley International from founder Bob Hurley. In July 2003, Nike paid US$309 million to acquire Converse Inc., makers of the iconic Chuck Taylor All Stars sneakers. On March 3, 2008, Nike acquired sports apparel supplier Umbro, known as the manufacturers of the England national football team's kit, in a deal said to be worth £285 million (about US$600 million). Other subsidiaries previously owned and subsequently sold by Nike include Bauer Hockey and Starter. Finance Nike Inc. will buy back $8 billion of Nike's class B stock in 4 years after the current $5 billion buyback program is completed in second quarter of fiscal 2013. Up to September 2012, Nike Inc. has bought back $10 billion of stock. Products
A Nike brand athletic shoe
A pair of Nike Air Jordan I basketball shoes
Nike produces a wide range of sports equipment. Their first products were track running shoes. They currently also make shoes, jerseys, shorts, baselayers, etc. for a wide range of sports, including track and field, baseball, ice hockey, tennis, association football (soccer), lacrosse, basketball, and cricket. Nike Air Max is a line of shoes first...