Fact File about the Invention of Nike: Invention: Nike *** Date of
Invention: 1971 *** Name of Inventors: Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman ***
Nationality of Inventors: American *** Category: Clothing, Footwear and Sports
Equipment *** Country of Origin: America *** Facts about the Inventor, Phil
Knight and Bill Bowerman, and the invention of
Fact 1: Who invented Nike? The first company founded by Phil Knight and
Bill Bowerman was Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS) on January 25, 1964 and officially
became Nike, Inc. on May 30, 1971.
Fact 2: Who invented Nike? Jeff Johnson, the company's first employee,
is credited with coming up with the new company name.
Fact 3: Who invented Nike? The name was taken from 'Nike' the Greek
goddess of victory, strength and speed. The word 'Nike' literally means
"victory, upper hand". The name is pronounced "ny-kee".
Fact 4: Who invented Nike? The Greek goddess Nike was the patron of
athletes who competed in the Ancient Greek games and was often depicted
rewarding athletes with a wreath of a laurel leaves. The name was a perfect fit
for the new company.
Fact 5: Who invented Nike? Nike went on to revolutionized the old
fashioned sneakers. The soft soled shoes known as sneakers, made with a
canvas top design and a rubber sole, started to become popular with tennis
players and kids in the early 1900's. For additional facts refer to
Who invented Shoes?
Fact 6: Who invented Nike? Sneakers received their name because of their
lightness and the silent, 'sneaky' footsteps that were provided by soft rubber.
Sales of sneakers exploded in 1984, when Michael Jordan signed a contract to
endorse and wear a Nike shoe called 'Air Jordans'. Nike became a multimillion
dollar, multinational corporation a success that neither Phil Knight nor Bill
Bowerman had ever dreamed of.
Fact 7: Who invented Nike? Phil Knight, born on 24 February 1938, and
Bill Bowerman (February 19, 1911 - December 24, 1999) was both raised in
Portland, Oregon, United States.
Fact 8: Who invented Nike? Bill Bowerman was 27 years older than Phil
Knight but their paths crossed, and their friendship was formed at the
University of Oregon. Phil was a business student, and a middle distance runner,
and Bill was a track and field coach.
Fact 9: Who invented Nike? Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman both became
extremely frustrated with the clumsiness and limited choice of American running
shoes. However, Phil Knight had visited Japan and was impressed with the
Onitsuka Tiger (now ASICS) brand of running shoes, with their high quality and
Fact 10: Who invented Nike? Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman realized that
there was a gap in the market and arranged a meeting in the Onitsuka Tiger
office. Phil and Bill became the sales agent of Onitsuka Tiger in the USA.
Fact 11: Who invented Nike? They grabbed the opportunity to start their
own company and founded Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS) on January 25, 1964. They first
sold the shoes at track meetings and then went on to open a BRS retail store
located in Santa Monica, California in 1966.
Fact 12: Who invented Nike? They continued as the distributors of
Onitsuka Tiger shoes but were keen to start manufacturing their own brand of
running shoes. Bill Bowerman began work on designing a new type of running shoe
that was lighter and more comfortable than those on the market.
Fact 13: Who invented Nike? Bill Bowerman was also working on a new
training program for adjusting athletes to the high altitude that they would
experience at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games.
Fact 14: Who invented Nike? Knight and Bowerman changed the name of their
company and became Nike, Inc. on May 30, 1971. Bill Bowerman experienced his
"Eureka" moment when he and his wife were making waffles for breakfast. The
waffles sparked an innovative idea for a grooved pattern on the sole of trainers
to achieve the optimal traction to help athletes grip running tracks.
Fact 15: Who invented Nike? Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman worked on their
technical breakthrough and included the wedged heel, the cushioned mid-sole and
nylon uppers into their design. The shoe was both comfortable and durable.
Fact 16: Who invented Nike? Carolyn Davidson, a student at Portland State
University, created the world famous shoe stripe "swoosh" logo in 1971 to convey
a sense of movement. Carolyn Davidson went on to work for the company for
several years and in 1983 was rewarded for the logo with a gift of a diamond
ring engraved with the Swoosh logo and an envelope filled with 500 shares of
Fact 17: Who invented Nike? The first use of the Nike name and the Swoosh
logo design trademark was on June 18, 1971.
Fact 18: Who invented Nike? The new running shoe, complete with the
"swoosh" logo, was called the Nike Cortez and was the company's first official
Fact 19: Who invented Nike? The success and reputation gained by Bill
Bowerman at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics led to his selection as the 1972
Munich Olympic Track and Field head coach. The release of the Nike Cortez
coincided with the 1972 Summer Olympics. In under a year the Nike Cortez was
referred to as the "the most popular long-distance training shoe in the U.S".
Fact 20: Who invented Nike? By the 1980's the company had acquired 50%
market share in the U.S. athletic shoe market selling their Cortez, Waffle Racer
and Tailwind trainers. However the Nike company continued to look at new,
innovative ideas & began investigating the possibilities of air technology.
Fact 21: Who invented Nike? Nike revealed its first sneaker to feature
the revolutionary Air-cushioned sole, called the Air Max 1, originally designed
by Tinker Hatfield, which became an icon both on and off the track..
Fact 22: Who invented Nike? The original Air Jordan sneaker, designed for
Nike by Peter Moore, Tinker Hatfield and Bruce Kilgore, was created for Chicago
Bulls basketball player Michael Jordan in 1984. The Air Jordan sneaker was
endorsed by Michael Jordan and released to the public in 1985 - sales exploded
and the Nike label became regarded as a status symbol and a leader in street