The History of Nike Shoes and Sneakers

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Nike shoes come in a wide variety of styles and colors. They are worn by professional athletes as well as everyday folks who just want to make a fashion statement. You can find Nike sneakers at just about store that sells shoes. The famous Nike swoosh logo is probably one of the most recognized company logos of all time and series of nike.

The original swoosh logo was originally designed in 1971 by a student studying graphic design at Portland State University. Carolyn Davidson was paid $35 for the famous design but some sources say that the co-founder of Nike, Phil Knight, later bought her a diamond ring engraved with the Nike logo and also an undisclosed amount of Nike stock after she left the company in 1983. It’s interesting to note that Knight originally wasn’t too impressed with Davidson’s work. He said, “I don’t love it, but it will grow on me.”

Nike currently employs more than 30,000 people around the world and makes other sports apparel and equipment besides shoes. Recently the company has been under some scrutiny because of concerns associated with human rights and poor working conditions. It’s estimated that in 2008 the company made a net income of around $1.9 billion dollars. The name Nike comes from the Greek goddess of victory, and like many other successful companies, had a humble beginning. Philip Knight was a track athlete at the University of Oregon and joined up with his coach, Bill Bowerman, in 1964 to sell shoes out of their cars at track meets. At that time they called themselves Blue Ribbon Sports.

Originally, the duo sold shoes developed by a Japanese manufacturer but ended their relationship with the company in 1971. In 1971 they developed their own line of footwear made especially for football and decided to call it Nike. Soon they introduced more lines of shoes. In 1978, they dropped the Blue Ribbon Sports name and by 1980, 50% of shoes sold in the United States carried the Nike brand. The Nike company still has headquarters in Oregon and currently owns several subsidiaries including Umbro and Converse. At one time, Nike also owned Bauer Hockey and Starter.