All About Nike
History of Nike
Nike, Inc., formerly (1964–78) Blue Ribbon Sports, American sportswear company headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon. It was founded in 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports by Bill Bowerman, a track-and-field coach at the University of Oregon, and his former student Phil Knight. They opened their first retail outlet in 1966 and launched the Nike brand shoe in 1972. The company was renamed Nike, Inc., in 1978 and went public two years later. By the early 21st century, Nike had retail outlets and distributors in more than 170 countries, and its logo—a curved check mark called the “swoosh”—was recognized throughout the world.
From the late 1980s Nike steadily expanded its business and diversified its product line through numerous acquisitions, including the shoe companies Cole Haan (1988; sold in 2012) and Converse, Inc. (2003), the sports-equipment producer Canstar Sports, Inc. (1994; later called Bauer and sold in 2008), and the athletic apparel and equipment company Umbro (2008; sold in 2012). In 1996 the company created Nike ACG (“all-conditions gear”), which markets products for extreme sports such as snowboarding and mountain biking. In the early 21st century Nike began selling sports-technology accessories, including portable heart-rate monitors and high-altitude wrist compasses.
History of Air Jordan Shoes
Part of Nike’s success is owed to endorsements by such athletes as Michael Jordan, Mia Hamm, Roger Federer, and Tiger Woods. The NikeTown chain stores, the first of which opened in 1990, pay tribute to these and other company spokespersons while offering consumers a full range of Nike products. In the 1990s the company’s image briefly suffered from revelations about poor working conditions in its overseas factories.
Modern sneaker culture had its roots in the air; that is, the original Air Jordan that released in 1985. Nike, and subsequently the Jordan Brand, has honored this iconic silhouette numerous times since with releases of the Retro 1.
The Chicago Bulls used their third overall draft pick on Jordan, a 1982 NCAA champion who would go on to win Olympic gold later in the summer of 1984. Jordan signed a five-year endorsement deal with Nike, reportedly worth $2.5 million (plus royalties), an enormous outlay for an athlete who hadn't yet proven himself on the professional level.
The NBA banned the original Air Jordan for not meeting the league's stringent policy on uniforms and colors. Jordan wore them anyway and faced a $5,000-per-game fine as a result. Recognizing a unique marketing opportunity when it presented itself, Nike happily paid the fine. And MJ rocked them all the way to his Rookie of the Year honor.
This Air Jordan was the only one in the series to feature the familiar Nike Swoosh logo. And predating the Jumpman logo, the OG shoe featured the Wings logo - a basketball with wings stretching from both sides and "Air Jordan" printed above the ball. Nike filed the Wings logo as a trademark on May 7, 1985.
Leather overlays on the upper offered durability and easy color blocking, and a perforated leather toe box lent ventilation.
While Nike has good branding overall, and releases some pairs with excellent quality, it's not all roses when it comes to their company image. They have often come under fire for subpar working conditions and treatment of the environment as far as their production goes.
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