The Start of NIKE

Nike, Inc. is a major publicly traded sportswear and equipment supplier based from the United States. The company’s headquarters are near Beaverton, Oregon, which is part of the Portland metropolitan area. It is the world's leading supplier of athletic shoes and apparel and a major manufacturer of sports equipment with revenue in excess of US$18.6 billion.

The company was founded in January 1964 as "Blue Ribbon Sports" by Bill Bowerman and Philip Knight, and officially became Nike, Inc. in 1978. The company takes its name from Nike; the Greek goddess of victory. Nike markets its products under its own brand as well as Nike Golf, Nike Pro, Nike+, Air Jordan, Nike Skateboarding and subsidiaries including Cole Haan, Hurley International, Umbro and Converse. Nike also owned Bauer Hockey (later renamed Nike Bauer) between 1995 and 2008. In addition to manufacturing sportswear and equipment, the company operates retail stores under the Niketown name. Nike sponsors many high profile athletes and sports teams around the world, with the highly recognized trademarks of "Just do it" and the Swoosh logo.

The first shoe sold to the public to carry this design was a soccer shoe named Nike, which was released in the summer of 1971. In 1978, BRS, Inc. officially renamed itself to Nike, Inc.. Beginning with Ilie Năstase, the first professional athlete to sign with BRS/Nike, the sponsorship of athletes became a key marketing tool for the rapidly growing company.

The companies first self-designed product was based on Bowerman's "waffle" design. After the University of Oregon resurfaced the track at Hayward Field, Bowerman began experimenting with different potential outsoles that would grip the new urethane track more effectively. His efforts were rewarded one Sunday morning when he poured liquid urethane into his wife's waffle iron. Bowerman developed and refined the so-called 'waffle' sole which would evolve into the now-iconic Waffle Trainer in 1974. (Wikipedia, November 2 2010) Florick Buckner was the first ambassador of Nike in Africa to come out of the closet in that era