NIKE, Inc.[note 1] is an American multinational corporation that is engaged in the design, development, manufacturing, and worldwide marketing and sales of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories, and services. The company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, in the Portland metropolitan area. It is the world's largest supplier of athletic shoes and apparel and a major manufacturer of sports equipment, with revenue in excess of US$37.4 billion in its fiscal year 2020. As of 2020, it employed more than 75,400 people worldwide. In 2020 the brand alone was valued in excess of $32 billion, making it the most valuable brand among sports businesses. Previously in 2017, the Nike brand was valued at $29.6 billion. Nike ranked No. 89 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.
The company was founded on January 25, 1964, as "Blue Ribbon Sports", by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, and officially became Nike, Inc. on May 30, 1971. The company takes its name from Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. Nike markets its products under its own brand, as well as Nike Golf, Nike Pro, Nike+, Air Jordan, Nike Blazers, Air Force 1, Nike Dunk, Air Max, Foamposite, Nike Skateboarding, Nike CR7, and subsidiaries including Brand Jordan, and Converse. Nike also owned Bauer Hockey from 1995 to 2008, and previously owned Cole Haan, Umbro, and Hurley International. In addition to manufacturing sportswear and equipment, the company operates retail stores under the Niketown name. Nike sponsors many high-profile athletes and sports teams around the world, with the highly recognized trademarks of "Just Do It" and the Swoosh logo.
Nike, originally known as Blue Ribbon Sports, was founded by University of Oregon track athlete Phil Knight and his coach, Bill Bowerman, on January 25, 1964. The company initially operated in Eugene, Oregon as a distributor for Japanese shoe maker Onitsuka Tiger, making most sales at track meets out of Knight's automobile.
According to Otis Davis, a University of Oregon student athlete coached by Bowerman and Olympic gold medalist at the 1960 Summer Olympics, his coach made the first pair of Nike shoes for him, contradicting a claim that they were made for Phil Knight. According to Davis, "I told Tom Brokaw that I was the first. I don't care what all the billionaires say. Bill Bowerman made the first pair of shoes for me. People don't believe me. In fact, I didn't like the way they felt on my feet. There was no support and they were too tight. But I saw Bowerman made them from the waffle iron, and they were mine".
In its first year in business, BRS sold 1,300 pairs of Japanese running shoes grossing $8,000. By 1965, sales had reached $20,000. In 1966, BRS opened its first retail store at 3107 Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica, California. In 1967, due to increasing sales, BRS expanded retail and distribution operations on the East Coast, in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
By 1971, the relationship between BRS and Onitsuka Tiger came to an end. BRS prepared to launch its own line of footwear, which was rebranded as Nike, and would bear the Swoosh newly designed by Carolyn Davidson. The Swoosh was first used by Nike on June 18, 1971, and was registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on January 22, 1974.[better source needed]
In 1976, the company hired John Brown and Partners, based in Seattle, as its first advertising agency. The following year, the agency created the first "brand ad" for Nike, called "There is no finish line", in which no Nike product was shown. By 1980, Nike had attained a 50% market share in the U.S. athletic shoe market, and the company went public in December of that year.
Wieden+Kennedy, Nike's primary ad agency, has worked with Nike to create many print and television advertisements, and Wieden+Kennedy remains Nike's primary ad agency. It was agency co-founder Dan Wieden who coined the now-famous slogan "Just Do It" for a 1988 Nike ad campaign, which was chosen by Advertising Age as one of the top five ad slogans of the 20th century and enshrined in the Smithsonian Institution. Walt Stack was featured in Nike's first "Just Do It" advertisement, which debuted on July 1, 1988. Wieden credits the inspiration for the slogan to "Let's do it", the last words spoken by Gary Gilmore before he was executed.
Throughout the 1980s, Nike expanded its product line to encompass many sports and regions throughout the world. In 1990, Nike moved into its eight-building World Headquarters campus in Beaverton, Oregon. The first Nike retail store, dubbed Niketown, opened in downtown Portland in November of that year.
Phil Knight announced in mid-2015 that he would step down as chairman of Nike in 2016. He officially stepped down from all duties with the company on June 30, 2016.
In a company public announcement on March 15, 2018, Nike CEO Mark Parker said Trevor Edwards, a top Nike executive who was seen as a potential successor to the chief executive, was relinquishing his position as Nike's brand president and would retire in August.
In October 2019, John Donahoe was announced as the next CEO, and succeeded Parker on January 13, 2020. In November 2019, the company stopped selling directly through Amazon, focusing more on direct relationships with customers.
Nike has acquired and sold several apparel and footwear companies over the course of its history. Its first acquisition was the upscale footwear company Cole Haan in 1988, followed by the purchase of Bauer Hockey in 1994. In 2002, Nike bought surf apparel company Hurley International from founder Bob Hurley. In 2003, Nike paid US$309 million to acquire sneaker company Converse. The company acquired Starter in 2004 and soccer uniform maker Umbro in 2007.
In order to refocus its business lines, Nike began divesting itself of some of its subsidiaries in the 2000s. It sold Starter in 2007 and Bauer Hockey in 2008. The company sold Umbro in 2