Nike, Inc. was started by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, who met each other in 1957. Before going into business, Knight became a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Blue Ribbon Sports, the original Nike, Inc., was founded in 1964 by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight with a collective investment of $1000 to fund the business endeavor. The company began with Bowerman and Knight being local distributors for the Onitsuka Tiger footwear brand (now owned by ASICS); Bowerman and and Knight did business out of their cars at local track meets and sporting events to athletes in the vicinity of the University of Oregon. The first Blue Ribbon Sports retail store opened in Santa Monica, California in 1966. As their company’s profits began to grow, Bowerman and Knight soon realized that their financial limits imposed by Onitsuka Tiger would limit their long-term profits. Consequentially, Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS) cut ties with Onitsuka Tiger and began to create and market their own line of footwear and apparel.Blue Ribbon Sports hired Carolyn Davidson to design their classic “swoosh” logo in 1971 for $35, the first swoosh t-shirt apparel item is created at this time as well. The Nike swoosh embodies the spirit of the winged goddess who inspired the most courageous and chivalrous warriors at the dawn of civilization. By the year ended 1971, BRS’s revenues reach one million dollars. In 1972, Blue Ribbon Sports founded their “Nike” (pronounced NI-KEY), named after the Greek Goddess of Victory, line of footwear. BRS expanded their product line to Canada in 1972, which was their first foreign market. In 1978, BRS officially renamed itself to Nike, Inc. Ilie Năstase, a ATP tennis star, was the first professional athlete to sign an endorsement deal with Nike, Inc. Endorsements have ever since become an essential part in the marketing growth of Nike. Towards the end of the 1970′s, Nike’s corporate infrastructure begins to form. Nike headquarters is opened at 3900 S.W. Murray Blvd. in Beaverton, Oregon, their foreign marketplace expands to Asian countries, and multiple manufacturing sites are opened. In 1979, the famous Nike AIR technology is born as well.
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