24 Interesting Facts About Nike (Just Know It)

Nike

24 Interesting Facts About Nike (Just Know It)

  1. Nike’s co-founder Bill Bowerman crafted the first pair of shoes using a waffle iron.
  2. The notorious Gary Gilmore’s last words inspired Nike’s famous slogan: Just Do It.
  3. Nike’s moon shoes were hand-stitched by Bill Bowerman.
  4. Tinker Hatfield’s Nike designs were inspired by Paris’s Pompidou Centre.
  5. Shaquille O’Neal’s custom Nike shoes were size 22.
  6. Nike owns Umbro, acquired in 2008, and later sold it in 2012.
  7. The first Nike store opened in Santa Monica in 1966.
  8. Apple Records once sued Nike over the use of a Beatles song in a commercial.
  1. The famous ‘Columbia Blue’ is a signature color used in many of Nike’s athletic shoe designs.
  2. Nike’s co-founder, Phil Knight, started by selling shoes from his car at track meets.
  3. Nike sells an average of 25 sneakers per second.
  4. Athletic shoes by Nike often feature the brand’s exclusive Nike Grind material, made from recycled sneakers.
  5. The designer of the Nike logo, Carolyn Davidson, received a meager $35 for her iconic creation.
  6. Tinker Hatfield, a former architect, designed many of Nike’s iconic shoes, including Air Jordans.
  7. Romanian tennis player Ilie Năstase was the first professional athlete to sign an endorsement deal with Nike.
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1. Nike was founded in 1964 by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman.

At its core, Nike, a popular shoe company, was founded by two visionaries on an extraordinary path: Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman.

With a commitment to nothing less than the highest standard, this team realized the seemingly unattainable – creating superior performance footwear and corresponding apparel.

2. The Company Started as Blue Ribbon Sports, a Small Distributor of Japanese Shoes.

Nike’s rise to fame is one of the most fascinating tales in the sports industry. Interestingly, Nike started small as a humble distributor of Japanese shoes called Blue Ribbon Sports.

Although it went unnoticed by very few initially, it gradually gained recognition in the shoe industry and became the global giant we know today.

3. In 1971, the Name Nike was Adopted after the Greek Goddess of Victory, Nike.

Nike is a powerful name taken from Greek mythology. Named after the deity of victory, Nike symbolizes power and strength.

Representing victory and conquest, this distinguished honor was bestowed as the namesake of one of the greatest shoe brands of all time.

4. The Iconic Swoosh Logo was Designed by Graphic Design Student Carolyn Davidson in 1971.

Macro Photography of Pair of Black-and-white Nike Running Shoes
Carolyn Davidson designs the Swoosh logo.

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Starting as a simple concept, the Swoosh now stands globally recognized as a mark of confidence and sporting excellence, deeply embedded in popular culture after decades of prominence.

This iconic logo, designed by Carolyn Davidson, a graphic design student at Portland State University, and Nike acquired for a mere $35, symbolizing comfort and excellence in equal measure.

5. Drake possesses a pair of Nike Air Jordan 12 sneakers made of solid gold, valued at $2 million.

Drake’s possession of a pair of Nike Air Jordan 12 sneakers crafted entirely from solid gold stands as a testament to luxury and exclusivity. Valued at an impressive $2 million, these opulent shoes were part of a collaboration between Drake and Nike.

The unique pair, commissioned by the artist, weighs a hefty 50 pounds per shoe, showcasing a blend of artistic design and extravagant materials that elevate it to a rare and extraordinary status in the world of high-end footwear.

6. Nike, with the Slogan Do It, Debuted in 1988.

Throughout its existence over three decades, the words from this catchphrase quickly made an impression on people around the globe and became etched in our cultural memory.

As time progressed, its simple yet impactful message was deepened with a recognizable voiceover that emanated a sense of grit, perseverance, and determination. 

7. Nike secured two Emmy Awards for Best Commercial in 1999 and 2008.

Nike’s accolades include two Emmy Awards for Best Commercial, underscoring the brand’s prowess in impactful advertising. In 1999, they clinched the award for the memorable The Morning After commercial directed by Spike Jonze, portraying a runner amidst societal chaos on January 1, 2000.

The second Emmy 2008 recognized the compelling Move ad, a 90-second spot featuring diverse athletes across various sports, speaking volumes without uttering a single word.

8. In 2016, Nike launched its First Self-Lacing Shoe, the HyperAdapt 1.0.

red and white Nike basketball shoe neon signage
In 2016, Nike released the HyperAdapt 1.0.

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In 2016, Nike revolutionized the athletic shoe landscape with the historic debut of its first self-lacing shoe, the HyperAdapt 1.0.

This masterpiece of foot athletics instantly launched Nike into the stratosphere as a true vanguard in design and comfort innovation.

9. Nike Manufactures Over 840 million Pairs of Shoes Each Year.

Nike’s manufacturing prowess reaches impressive heights, producing over 800 million pairs of shoes annually. This colossal output underscores the brand’s global dominance in the athletic footwear market.

The sheer scale of production speaks to Nike’s commitment to meeting the demands of a diverse and extensive consumer base.

10. In 2020, Nike was the World’s Largest Athletic Footwear and Apparel Supplier.

Nike had solidified its presence in the athletic footwear and apparel space. It successfully dominated its market segment, making it the world’s largest supplier in this domain.

11. Kanye West’s Grammy Nike Air Yeezy 1 prototype fetched $1.8M.

Sotheby’s recently auctioned the sole pair of Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototype, worn by Kanye West at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. Surpassing expectations, the sneakers, now owned by RARES, were sold for an impressive $1.8 million, setting a new record for publicly recorded sneaker sales.

The 2008 sample, a cultural artifact, and sought-after collaboration played a pivotal role in Kanye’s Grammy performance and marks a milestone in sneaker culture.

12. In 2022, Nike generated over $46 billion in revenue worldwide, which is one of the interesting facts about Nike.

In 2022, Nike raked in $46+ billion in global revenue.

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In 2018, Nike achieved a remarkable feat, generating over $46 billion in global revenue, thereby establishing itself as a powerhouse in the industry.

Their extensive range of sports accessories and status as one of the most influential sports companies underscored their dominance as a leading supplier and innovator in the sporting goods retail sector.

13. The Majority of Nike’s Revenue comes from Sales of its Shoes and Apparel in North America.

Nike’s revenue is significantly anchored in North America, with a substantial portion derived from its shoes and apparel sales.

According to data from 2023, Nike’s North American revenue from footwear alone reached an impressive nearly 15 billion U.S. dollars. This figure starkly outpaced the combined revenue of the apparel and equipment segments.

14. Nike is the Official Sponsor of some of the World’s Most Famous Sports Teams and Athletes.

Nike’s supremacy in the global sports arena is highlighted by its association with soccer luminaries like Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., and the basketball player kingpin, LeBron James.

These stars are among the many athletes who embody Nike’s influential stature in sports and athletics.

15. In 2019, Nike Launched its First Space-Themed Shoe Collection in Collaboration with NASA.

In 2019, Nike showcased a strong partnership with NASA by launching a line of space-themed shoes.

This collaboration marked their first bold leap into the cosmos, resulting in a universally acclaimed collection.

16. Nike has been Recognized as one of the World’s Leading Employers by Several Publications, including Forbes and Fortune Magazine.

Nike is globally celebrated for their dedication to helping employees reach their highest potential.

Many authoritative publications, such as Forbes and Fortune Magazine, have heavily recognized this commitment to success.

17. Nike also offers Environmental Initiatives to help Reduce its Environmental Impact.

nike, air force, manilla
Nike takes eco-action to reduce its impact.

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Nike is devoted to ensuring their impact on the environment is reduced.

To do this, they remix and repurpose mill end fabric to create usable material in production and recycle and upcycle materials from post-consumer shoes. Additionally, Nike uses sustainable fabrics in their new products.

18. Nike was the First Brand to Adopt Online Shopping in 1999.

In 1999, Nike took the internet by storm as the first brand to adopt online shopping wholeheartedly.

Over two decades, their commitment to a digital presence remains unshaken, with a robust representation on prevalent social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter, a testament to their adaptability and foresight.

19. Nike Employs over 80,000 People Worldwide, with most of its Employees Located in the US.

This large employee body drives forward the major sportswear and lifestyle brand based out of Beaverton, Oregon, US.

A crucial feature of any successful business venture is being in control of engaging staffing solutions.

20. Nike’s Current CEO is John Donahoe, who Joined Nike as President and CEO in 2020.

Before joining Nike, Donahoe had successful runs at eBay, serving as CEO for eight years, and at the fashion brand firm Mirror Image, taking positions spanning from COO and EVP International. 

21. In 2019, Nike launched its ‘Just Do Its campaign in India, focusing on inspiring women to pursue their dreams.

Just Do It on a Nike-logoed wall - Discover interesting facts about Nike effortlessly.
In 2019, Nike kicked off ‘Just Do It’ in India.

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The successful campaign in India encouraged more women to reach their true potential within sports and everywhere.

Nike believes that with consistent hard work and positivity, women everywhere can turn whatever dreams they hold into a reality. 

22. Nike holds ownership of brands like Converse and Hurley, acquired over time.

Nike strategically broadened its brand portfolio through acquisitions. In 2002, they acquired the surf apparel company Hurley International from founder Bob Hurley.

The following year, Nike invested US$309 million to acquire iconic sneaker company Converse, showcasing a commitment to diverse markets and reinforcing their global influence in sports and lifestyle.

23. In 2020, Nike began using 3D printing technology to create more personalized consumer footwear designs.

 Nike embarked on a quest to revolutionize its consumer designs using 3D printing technology. This groundbreaking move hoped to create even more personalized and stylish experiences in footwear.

24. Nike Launched its first Sustainable Sneaker Line in 2018 called Nike Grind.

In 2018, Nike launched a pioneering sneaker line called Nike Grind, which is among the Interesting Facts About Nike.

This revolutionary shoe featured recycled plastics and rubber within the design elements, demonstrating to the world that eco-friendly styling was truly realistic to achieve and possible to implement.

FAQS

Is Nike Japanese or Chinese?

Nike is an American sportswear and lifestyle brand that was founded in 1964 by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman. Nike’s headquarters are located in Beaverton, Oregon.

Who is the CEO of Nike?

The current CEO of Nike is John Donahoe. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Stanford University and received an MBA in 1982. Donahoe began working for Nike in 2020, bringing with him a wealth of experience from his previous roles as CEO at eBay and ServiceNow, President of PayPal, and Managing Director at Bain Capital.

What was Nike’s original name?

Nike was originally known as Blue Ribbon Sports when it was founded in 1964 by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman. The name Blue Ribbon Sports came from the fact that Knight’s first shoe order from Japan was actually a blue ribbon placed around the shoebox. The company’s initial mission was to provide quality running shoes at more affordable prices than what was being offered by its competitors.

Who is Nike owned by?

A multibillion-dollar conglomerate that owns Nike is called the Nike Corporation. The company was founded in 1964 by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight and has since become one of the world’s most recognizable brands. In 2020, the company reported revenue of over $37 billion. Most recently, Nike announced that it had acquired another brand, Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star, for a reported $2 billion.

How did the Nike swoosh originate?

The Nike Swoosh originated in 1971 when the co-founder of Nike, Phil Knight, commissioned a graphic design student named Carolyn Davidson to create a logo for their new company. Davidson came up with the iconic Swoosh, which was inspired by the wing of the Greek goddess of victory, Nike.

Where did the Nike logo come from?

The Nike logo, also known as the “Swoosh,” was designed by Carolyn Davidson in 1971. It is a simple and recognizable mark consisting of a curved line resembling a checkmark or a swoosh.

How long has Nike been around for?

Founded on January 25, 1964, as Blue Ribbon Sports by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman, the entity we now know as Nike, Inc. officially emerged on May 30, 1971. It has evolved into one of the world’s most prominent sportswear brands, not only for athletes but also for everyday wear. With a presence in over 190 countries, as of 2021, Nike has celebrated 59 years of global influence and success.

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