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Brand Spotlight: Nike

Nike, Inc., was founded January of 1964, as Blue Ribbon Sports by University of Oregon track athlete Philip Knight and his coach Bill Bowerman. Although they originally sold shoes for a Japanese company, they eventually started creating their own shoes when Bowerman found he could make waffled soles by pouring hot rubber in a waffle iron, which made the shoe lighter, but kept the traction athletes needed. The first athlete to endorse the Nike brand was Steve Prefontaine, a talented middle and long-distance runner who tragically lost his life in 1975. Bowerman and Knight were spurred on to do push Nike as far as possible. During the ’80s, Nike continued to build momentum by successful launching Nike Air technology in the Tailwind running shoe, creating the first visible Air Unit in the Air Max shoe and designing a signature shoe for Michael Jordan, an NBA rookie at the time. They also launched a series of advertisements with the now-familiar tagline “Just do it” and commercials featuring Bo Jackson, Now, Nike is known for iconic products like the Air Force 1, Air Max 90 and signature shoes like the Air Jordan (now a sub-brand of Nike) and LeBron. In addition to sneakers, Nike also sells equipment and apparel for nearly every sport, from tennis to track and field, from basketball to golf. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Michael Jordan wearing the Air Jordan 1 on court.[/caption]