Nike's Corporate Mission Statement : 'To be the world's leading sports and fitness company
Nike originated in 1962 by Philip H . Knight, a Stanford University business graduate. Knight who was a member of the University of Oregon track team traveled to japan after finishing business school got introduced to a Japanese firm that made athletic shoes, the Onitsuka tiger company. Knight got into agreement with the Onitsuka tiger to import some of its shoes in America on a small scale. Knight believed that the Japanese running shoe can be a great competitor for the German products that dominated the American running shoe market. As Knight set up the agreement with Onitsuka tiger, Knight invented the blue ribbon sports to satisfy Onitsuka tiger's expectations that he represented an actual company.With this Knights hypothetical firm grew to become Nike inc. Knight started off small working with 200 pairs of tiger athletic shoes then became a partnership with his former track coach ,William Bowerman , who chipped in 500 dollars to help Knights investment. Bowerman experimented modifying shoes for his team, and worked with runners to enhance the performance of the designs of the prototype blue ribbon sports shoes. Innovation by Bowerman to the shoes would be the corner stone to the company's success, and in 1968 it payed off with the the shoe Cortez being created which became a big seller. With the success of the cortez more shoes were being produced and in 1966 the company rented its first retail space in Santa Monica California then moved to the east coast to Boston. By the end of the decade Knights venture expanded to several stores and 20 employees and sales nearing 300,000. The company reached high levels of growth, but Knight was frustrated by a lack of capital to pay for expansion. In 1971 Knight using financing from the Japanese trading company Nissho lwai corporation , blue ribbon shoes (BRS) , was able to manufacture its own line overseas, though independent contractors, for import to the United States. With this the company introduced its swoosh trademark and the brand name Nike, taken from the Greek goddess of victory. Founded as a importer Japanese shoes Nike inc., NIKE has grown to become the worlds biggest marketer in athletic shoes dominating there competition from there beginning in 1962 to the present.