30 Amazing Things You Didn't Know About Nike

Everybody knows that Nike, the 'coolest' brand, is more than 50 years old, but still gets the youth running for it. This unique show has a swoosh that makes you swagger, and it isn't a brand that you can take for granted.

The Nike brand was born on January 25, 1964, at the University of Oregon and was first named Blue Ribbon Sports by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman.

But what are the things no one knows about it? Here are a few amazing facts.

1. The original name of Nike was Blue Ribbon Sports. It assumed its 'Nike' avatar in 1971.

2. The name 'Nike' is pronounced as 'Ni-key'. This name has been borrowed from the Greek Goddess of Victory.

3. The first innovator of the shoe was track coach Bill Bowerman. He first used a waffle iron to make the first shoe. It helped to give the wearer of the shoe a grip on the track while running.

4. Track coach Bill Bowerman didn't like the shoes of those days, so he tried to experiment with designs of his own. He tried out kangaroo leather, velvet, deer hide, and fish skin. Student track athlete Phil Knight was used as a guinea pig to try out his shoes.

5. Nikey's 'Just Do It' slogan was coined by a serial killer, Gary Gilmore. He articulated the line when he was executed - and everyone around him followed his instructions! It was his last words. He would never have imagined it could have become so famous, or that it would make him live on forever.

6. The famous Nike logo, or 'Swoosh', was first treated with some indifference by a team of Nike selectors in 1971. It was picked up as a last-minute choice only after they went through a number of alternatives.

7. Swoosh's graphic designer, Carolyn Davidson, spent 17.5 hours designing it in 1971. She was disappointed when she was told that her curvy, black sign wasn't much liked.

8. She charged only $35 in 1971. Later on, she was gifted with more than $640,000 worth of the brand's products. In 1983, the empire threw a grand surprise party for her and presented her with a gold and diamond ring.

9. Nike's competitor companies at the time were big names. Adidas, Puma and Tiger were pitching their own products and signs, so competing with them was a big-time job.

10. The first sportsperson to sign a contract to promote Nike shoes was tennis player Ilie Nastase in 1971.

11. Basketball player Michael Jordan made Air Jordan 1 famous, even though he hated the red and black colors on the shoe when he first saw the pair.

12. The Nike management was visited by athlete, actor, musician and NBA player, Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal. He took a trip to meet the team dressed in Reebok clothes. He did not want to sign any contract with them.

13. The brand opened its first retail store in Santa Monica, California in 1966.

14. But today, its largest global store is the Nike Soho flagship that opened in November last year. It is five storeys high and located in a 55,000-square-foot land.

15. Nike's headquarters are situated in Washington County, Oregon.

15. Did you know about the company's building in New York? It shoots up through six floors and is located on 150,000 square feet. It buzzes with 1,000 employees. It also has a huge indoor basketball court, a roof-top terrace and a garden that looks like a huge 'swoosh'.

16. In May this year, Nike was found to have spread out with 985 global brand stores. That meant a solid jump up from the number of 919 in 2016.

17. Nike is a worldwide presence. The global giant has more than 32,000 employees spread all over the world. Its products are not made by the company, but by contractors who own the factories.

18. Today it is the largest sportswear maker in the world. But its revenue is all geared up to grow faster in the next five years than in the last five.

19. The revenue is expected to shoot up by 63 percent to $50 billion by fiscal 2020

20. The business boosters are the e-commerce, women's and Jordan brands.

21. It is thought that 80% of Nike's growth will be from 12 key cities and related countries - New York, London, Shanghai, Beijing, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Paris, Berlin, Mexico City, Barcelona, Seoul, and Milan.

22. The revenues for the fiscal year 2017 is expected to be $34.4 billion. The biggest spurs of growth would be the global as well as direct-to-consumers.

23. Its wholesale business contributed to about 75% of Nike's revenues. However, the direct-to-consumer also expanded by 18% this fiscal year.

24. For almost four decades, Nike has been operating the 'EKIN' programme of brand advocates and product experts. They help stores to buy the products.

25. Interestingly, Phil Knight, Nike's co-founder, was the first EKIN.

26. A recent innovation from Nike is a shoe that can be paired electronically with a smartphone. Due to an interesting computing device within the shoe, it can get connected to any other smartphone owner.

27. Nike has designed award-winning advertisements. In 2000 as well as 2002, Nike bagged an Emmy award.

28. Nike sells not just footwear, but even clothing and sports accessories all over the world. Hence, there are more than 900 million items sold every single year.

29 It isn't just for everyday wear that Nike designers get into the act. Tinker Hatfield, shoe designer for Nike, actually designed a Bat boot for the very first Batman film.

30. The hoverboarding shoes worn by Michael J. Fox in his movie, Back to the Future: Part II, was a Nike design shot.

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Nike, Blue Ribbon Sports, Bill Bowerman, Just Do it, Carolyn Davidson, Swoosh

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