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Everything in our world must undergo a metamorphosis in order to become something great. Reinvention shows the world your every side: the interesting, the imaginative, the innovative, and the creative. For more than 50 years, sportswear powerhouse, Nike, has shown the world that it has mastered the arts of innovation and athleticism through constant development and ever-changing strategies. Originally formed under the name Blue Ribbon Sports, the company got its start when University of Oregon track star Phil Knight teamed up with his coach Bill Bowerman to work as distributors for a brand of Japanese running shoes.
Now, 54 years after its birth, Nike has undergone numerous changes, having endured the highs and lows of economic times, shifts in trends, and even attempts to be overthrown by others brands. Despite various instances of uncertainty in the market, one thing always remained clear, greatness has no peak and Nike will never give in. Built for winners, the brand’s dynamic growth signals that its worldwide association with success comes from its ability to always push forward towards the powerful and the positive. Nike embodies the coolness of the contemporary with its use of colorful trims and unique designs sprawled across unconventional forms of fabrication suited for every kind of lifestyle. Fashion meets functionality with performance-based technical pieces for true athletes and the casual chic athleisure streetwear of trendy urbanites. Now, with new added focus on its environmental impact, Nike holds its position and reinforces that it is no ordinary brand. It preserves its status as king not by taking away or creating divisions and limitations but by giving something substantial to the planet and everyone that inhabits it. In a world where it is easier to remain the same, Nike continues to lead by example and proves that if you want to be the driving force of change you wish to see in the world, sometimes you have to ‘Just Do It.’
Bill Bowerman was adamant in his belief that anyone with a body was an athlete, and as the University of Oregon track and field coach, he knew how to take athletes from good to great. So when former track team member Phil Knight approached him about selling athletic gear, he agreed. Blue Ribbon Sports opened in '64, and Bowerman began to dismantle the shoes they sold to create a better sneaker. He used his wife's waffle iron to develop the waffle tread rubber sole, giving athletes more grip on the track. With the help of Jeff Johnson, who attended Stanford with Knight, Bowerman and Knight developed Nike as a brand and adopted the iconic Swoosh.
Nike rapidly became one of the top athletic footwear brands in the U.S. with sneaker technology like Nike Air, which added lightweight cushioning with an air pocket in the heel of the Tailwind model. Their first national television ad aired during the 1982 New York Marathon, and two years later they signed Michael Jordan to what would become one of the most important endorsement contracts in history. As running became popular, Nike was there with the Nike Air Max, the first visible Air-Sole unit, and a new tag line - Just Do It - to inspire others to get up and go. With Michael Jordan and Bo Jackson behind them, Nike became an industry leader.
The Swoosh and its sponsored athletes continue the story Bowerman and Knight started telling when they first started selling shoes from the back of their cars. It's a story of victory despite circumstances and innovation over run-of-the-mill. Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant represent the powerful passion that drives each new Nike product today, and you add fuel to that fire every time you lace up for a run or take to the court.
© CityGear.com 2019