Nike Sneaker - the undisputed number 1
Undoubtedly, Nike is one of the best known companies on the planet. Not only the groundbreaking inventions in athletic footwear, but also the cooperation with athletes like Michael Jordan and numerous artists have made Nike the undisputed market leader in athletic footwear and apparel today. With an estimated market value of 29.6 billion dollars, the company is one of the most financially valuable in the world. But the success did not come overnight, it took more than 50 years until a small company became a global corporation.
The history of Nike in a nutshell
Nike's company history would fill an entire book, so we will limit ourselves to the most important stages here.
It all began with the founding of Ribbon Sports by Bill Bowerman and Philip Knight in 1964 in Beaverton. The shoes of Onitsuka Tiger were initially sold under this name. It was only a few years after their company was founded that Bowermann and Knight began to develop their own models, which were able to convince through technical improvements right from the start. Compared to the sports shoes available on the market at the time, the first Nike sneakers were lighter and had a non-slip sole. From 1971 the company was called "Nike Inc."
The big breakthrough came in the 80's when Nike collaborated with Michael Jordan. The Jordan brand finally emerged from this cooperation. Other Nike-sponsored athletes include LeBron James, Tiger Woods, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Christiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Mario Götze.
In addition to sponsoring athletes and sporting events, Nike has always sought collaborations with artists and designers. In the 80s, hip-hop brought sportswear to the streets. Nike has always collaborated with the greats of hip-hop, and the sneaker models from his collaborations with Wu Tang Clan, Kanye West and Drake are legendary and well known among collectors.
The collaboration with designers and fashion labels resulted in some interesting collections and limited special editions, which today have cult status such as with Virgil Abloh, OFF White, Stüssy, Supreme, Comme des Garcons or Patta.
Nike employs a large team of shoe designers and engineers and maintains various research laboratories. Over the past 50 years, the company has developed a wide range of technical innovations in the footwear sector.
The "Nike Air" cushioning system appeared as early as 1979, and the air cushion sole has continued to evolve ever since. A new concept was pursued by Nike with the more active Lunarlon technology from 2008, which eventually led to the React technology, a damping system that gives the runner back the energy he used. Nike Free technology has resulted in a whole series of different running shoes that imitate barefoot walking.
Among the most famous lifestyle sneakers from Nike are the Air Max 1 and its successor models such as the Air Force 1, the Vapormax, the Blazer or the Huarache.
The name Nike and the Swoosh
There are some stories about the origin of the name Nike. Actually the brand should have been called "Dimension 6", because that was the desired name of the company founder Knight. Allegedly, one of the first employees, Jeff Johnson, remembered the name "Nike" in his sleep. A very happy idea, as it turns out.
The name Nike goes back to the winged Greek goddess of victory. The world-famous logo, the so-called Swoosh, is also based on them. Swoosh translated means "to swing" or "to rustle", the logo should remind of the wings of the goddess.
The world-famous Nike logo was designed by a 28-year-old graphics student for only 35 dollars. However, many years later Nike showed her gratitude and not only signed her over $600,000 worth of shares, but also thanked her with a diamond-studded gold ring in the form of the logo.