Successful Businessman The founder and CEO of the company internationally know for it's trademark "swoosh", and it's leadership in the athletic apparel industry. That man is Philip Knight, born in Portland, Oregon on February 24, 1938. As a young boy he played sports and covered the sports beat for his high school. Knight attended the University of Oregon; there he competed on the track team. There he earned a B.S. in business administration in 1959. In 1962, Knight received an MBA from Stanford University. At the same time Knight and his coach Bill Bowerman founded Blue Ribbon Sports, Inc., which was later renamed Nike in 1972.
The revolution of the sports clothing industry began in 1964 for Knight and Bowerman. They started importing Japanese shoes and sell them to local track runners out the back of their car. While teaching Accounting at Portland State University to increase his income, Knight met graphic designer Carolyn Davidson.
Phil Knight asked Carolyn to present some designs for him to present to the Japanese representatives. Carolyn Davidson came up with some shoe designs and a shoe stripe for the company's logo, which is known as the "swoosh". Knight contracts the Onitsuka Tiger company, manufacturer of quality athletic shoes, and convinces it of great marketing opportunities in the U.S. When they asked Knight who does he represents, he gave birth to " Blue Ribbon Sports," the forerunner of Nike. Blue Ribbon Sports launches the Nike brand at the U.S. Olympic trials after a dispute leads to a break between BRS and Tiger. Steve Prefontaine was the first major track athlete to wear Nike shoes. The Cortez was the first Woods 2 shoe to appear under the Nike brand, arrived on the athletic scene in 1972. It became successful and launched substantial growth for the company, selling $3.2 million worth of shoes in 1972. By 1979 Nike claimed 50% of the U.S. running shoe market and subcontracts factories in Korea and Taiwan. Nike advertisements helped make it the foremost retailer of athletic shoes worldwide. Most of the advertisements featured endorsements from athletes. The company made a quantum leap in 1984 when it signed the 21 year old basketball player Michael Jordan to endorse a basketball sneaker. This was when Knight came up with the slogan "Just Do It." Nike then led the industry and formed a foreign market that covers more than 40 countries. Revenue doubles to an all-time high of 919.9 million in 1984.
Nike has grown into the empire it is today by continuously introducing new features into it's products, constantly looking for technological improvements, innovation, heavy advertisement and it's excellent management. It's obvious that Philip Knight has led the company to the top of the industry by thinking big and just doing it. His personal philosophy is that there is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. Knight quotes that "its now my job to create an atmosphere of peace in the chaos of business, something I've learned from Asian business style." Knight loves the fact that Nike is about sports, an activity that people would do with or without the involvement of business. Nike is on the path to becoming a truly global sports and fitness company. They have shown ability to define and survive shifts in the marketplace in the U.S.
Woods 3 I respect Philip Knight because he has achieved the American dream. He shows hard work, perseverance and a killer instinct, which brought him huge success. If you were to look around, chances are that you will see many with the Nike swoosh sign, especially on sports setting. Most people characterize Philip Knight as being mysterious, unpredictable, enigmatic, competitive, and a genius. Philip Knight is a business leader, which has the just do it attitude. He is one who takes chances and don't mind if he makes a mistake because it is something he could learn from. That is another thing that I respect about CEO Philip Knight.