Nike: The Beginnings
The Nike Corporation originated from two sources, "Bill Bowerman's quest for lighter, more durable racing shoes for his Oregon runners, and Phil Knight's search for a way to make a living without having to give up his love of athletics" (Hincker 1). Their ideas and actions within Nike have radically changed the way sports, business, and popular cultures interact. This influence is seen best through the history of Nike's formation in its beginning years.
The concept that would eventually lead to Nike's existence began on a rather small scale. While getting his MBA at Stanford, Phil Knight realized the business opportunities within high quality, low cost shoes produced in Japan and shipped to the US for distribution. During a trip around the world in 1963, Knight traveled to Japan. He scheduled an interview with the managers of the Onitsuka Company (now Tiger-Asics), the producers of running shoes under the name of Tiger (Katz 59).
Introducing himself as a representative of an American distributor interested in their product, Knight told them his interest in selling their Tiger shoes to American runners. The Tiger executives liked what they heard, and the foundation of Blue Ribbon Sports, a name Knight thought up moments after asked who he represented, was born.
Knight began his enterprise by selling Tiger shoes from the truck of his car during track meets. He met with Bill Bowerman, his former track coach. Bowerman, seeing Knight's venture, said to him "These shoes aren't half bad, how 'bout letting your old coach in on this?" (Katz 61). With that, Knight and Bowerman joined forces, marking the true beginning of the Nike legacy.
With Bowerman's help in advertising and shoe design, Knight sold $8,000 worth of Tiger shoes in 1964. They hired Jeff Johnson, a runner from...