Nike, also known as NIKE, Inc., is an American sportswear company founded in 1964 by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight. Headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, Nike is currently the world's largest supplier of athletic shoes and apparel.
Founded under the name “Blue Ribbon Sports,” Nike
officially took its name from Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, in 1971. Carolyn Davidson created the brand's iconic Swoosh logo while attending Portland State University, where she met Knight. Other highly recognizable Nike branding includes the “Just Do It” slogan, which debuted in 1988 as part of a television commercial produced by Dan Wieden, the founder of the advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy.
Over its 56-year-old history, Nike has dominated across sports – including basketball, tennis, football, skateboarding, and running – through innovation and strategic marketing. Notable Nike-sponsored athletes have included: Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, Ronaldinho, Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, Ken Griffey, Jr., Steve Prefontaine, Ilie Năstase, and Wayne Rooney. Athletes the likes of LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Rodriguez, and Michael Jordan have received their own signature Nike sneaker lines, with Jordan's becoming an entire subsidiary. Furthermore, Nike has sponsored the national teams of the U.S., South Korea, Nigeria, and Brazil, among others, as well as the NBA and WNBA.
Notable footwear designers at Nike have included Tinker Hatfield (Nike Air Max 1, Nike Air Trainer 1, Air Jordan 3), Eric Avar (Nike Air Penny III, Nike Kobe 6), and Peter More (Air Jordan 1). Nike has also collaborated with Supreme, Jun Takahashi, Kanye West, Hiroshi Fujiwara, COMME des GARÇONS, UNDEFEATED, Vashtie Kola, OFF-WHITE, and Travis Scott, among many (many) others.
While popular silhouettes like the Nike Air Force 1, Nike Air Max 90, Nike Blazer, Nike SB Dunk, and Nike Air Foamposite One are rooted in performance-sports, they've gone on to become popular within the lifestyle and casualwear spaces. So much so, that they and other once-made-for-performance models now live under the Nike Sportswear umbrella. Newer silhouettes like the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% and Nike React Element 55 have further garnered the brand acclaim in the running and lifestyle categories. Nike owns Brand Jordan and Converse, which helps expand its global reach.
In 2020, Nike is making bold bets on both sustainability and self-lacing fronts. The Nike Space Hippie collection – which launches in July – is the brand's next foray into eco-friendly products as the four-piece line boasts builds comprised of over 50% recycled materials. The Nike Adapt Auto Max, which launched on Air Max Day 2020, inches The Swoosh closer to an auto-lacing future.