Many people know Nike as the maker of Michael Jordan’s signature sneakers (Air Jordans). But there is a whole lot more to know about the company that encourages its customers to ‘just do it’. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 11 fun, interesting facts you probably didn’t know about Nike.
- It wasn’t always called Nike. Believe it or not, but Nike’s original name was ‘Blue Ribbon Sports’ and sold shoes under the brand name Onitsuka Tiger shoes which are known today as Asics. They almost called it ‘Dimension’ before settling on the name ‘Nike’.
- The name Nike is actually a pagan name. When the good people at Onitsuka Tiger finally agreed to change the company name to Nike (good call guys), they decided on naming it after the Greek goddess of victory, pronounced ‘ny’kee’. Pretty cool, right?
- The company’s first shoe was produced inside a waffle machine. True story. Apparently the design of the waffle maker was compatible with the detailed design on the sneaker’s bottom – the same design that enables athletes to grip the surface. Please don’t try this at home.
- Their logo was cheap. Nike might be a premium brand today, but the company’s world recognized check-shaped logo was created by a Portland State University student who got $35 for his trouble. Don’t feel too bad for him though. Later on, that same designer was offered company shares valued at over $640,000.
- The company’s slogan was inspired by a serial killer. ‘Just do it’ were actually inspired by the last words of a murderer named Gary Gilmore, which were ‘let’s do it’. Why would anyone want to use such a man as an inspiration? History remains silent on that point.
- They brought the Beatles into capitalism. The Nike’s 1987 commercial for the Air Max sneakers was the first time a Beatles song was ever used in a commercial. Which song, you ask? ‘Revolution’.
- They have some big shops. This is hardly surprising, but do you know how big? The biggest Nike Store – Niketown on London’s Oxford Street – boasts 42,000 feet of retail space.
- They don’t just design tennis shoes. Nike’s shoe designer Tinker Hatfield, is also responsible for creating the original bat boot – that’s what the original batman wore. He also constructed the famous Marty Mcfly’s hoverboarding shoes in the 1989 hit sequel ‘Back to the Future 2’.
- Their sales figures are through the roof. Nike sells roughly 900 million products every year worldwide. These include sneakers, clothing, and other sports related apparel.
- The youth love it. Again, hardly a surprise. The Moosylvania ad agency lists Nike as the number one brand among millennials. The company holds 62% of the market share.
- Nike invented the smart shoe. Although it made less of a buzz than the smartwatch, Nike developed a sneaker with an embedded chip that communicates with the wearer’s smartphone. Why would you want your shoes to communicate with your phone? We don’t; run ourselves, but it’s probably a way to keep track of your performances.
Well, there you have it – 11 fun facts about Nike you probably never knew (or maybe you did). Either way, no one can argue that Nike is an innovative company who seems to keep pushing the envelope. For better or worse, it could be a share worth considering for one’s investment portfolio. However it should be noted that even innovative companies are no indication of how their future stock performance will fare in the markets.
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