How Did Nike Become a $34 Billion Company? World’s Number 1 Footwear Brand

UPDATE: I’ve updated this article in feb of 2022 with some pictures and clarification to make this article easier to understand.

(Note: This article is based on my internet research, some small parts of it may not be 100% accurate.)

If I tell you that 1 crazy idea can make you a billionaire, would you believe it?

Think….. think…..

Most of you will think how is this possible? I want to tell them that it is surely possible, a real and great example of this is Nike, whose founder is Philip Knight. A crazy dream of making good shoes has made him a 34 billion US dollars company in just 50 years.

Did you know that the previous name of the Nike company was Blue Ribbon Sports and Philip started selling its shoes from the boot of its own car in the early days of his business life.

Today we will discuss the successful journey of Nike in this article and I will try to tell you the whole story shortly and simply so that you can easily understand the success story of Nike.


Philip was born on February 24, 1937, in Portland, Oregon. His full name is Philip Hampson Knight. His father’s name is William O. Knight and his mother’s name is Lota Hotfield Knight.

Credit: philknight

His father was a believer in discipline and he always wanted his son to find a good job for himself.

After completing his graduation from the “University of Oregon” in the United States, Philip joined the Stanford Graduate School of Business to gain business knowledge.

Philip was very interested in running and according to the news, his personal best run was 1 mile in 4 minutes 13 seconds. And he won varsity letters for his best track performances in school life in 1956, 1958, 1959 and 1969.

The Idea:

Friends, this business begins in 1962, When Philip Knight, who was studying at Stanford University, thought about this business. ( When he was doing the MBA, he was given the assignment to write about small business and marketing.)

Philip loved sports and running, so he wrote about the shoe business and At the time of doing the assistant, the idea of ​​making cheaper, stronger and better quality shoes came to his mind.

What He Did Next:

And after completing his studies, he reached Japan to make his dream come true where he saw the cheap and good quality shoes of Tiger brand which was made by a company called “Onitsuka“,

Phillips met with the owner of the Onitsuka company and took the rights to sell Tiger Brands shoes, saying he was the owner of the Blue Ribbon Sports Company. But the truth is that there was no company called Blue Ribbon Sports, it was only in Philip’s brain, he immediately thought of that name and told the owner.

His confidence helped him move forward his dreams.

How It Started:

When Philip was given samples of Tiger Shoes, he first went to Bill Bowerman to sell those, who used to be his sports coach during graduation. Bill Bowerman loved sample shoes as well as the business model of Philip knight and later he became Phillip’s first business partner.

Credit: Madium

later, Phillip and Bowerman together formed a footwear company called Blue Ribbon Sports on 25 January 1965 with a capital of $1000 and first of all he ordered 300 pairs of Tiger brand shoes from Onitsuka, the Japanese shoe-making company.

Credit: Pinterest

One of the fun facts is He started selling these in his car boot outside each school. In the first year of the business, he sold about 1300 pairs of shoes and earned 8000 us dollars which increased to about 20000 US dollars the following year. There is a lot more unknown facts about Nike which you should know.

How He Build A Billion-Dollar Brand:

And after using his car trunk as a counter for 2 years, in the year 1968, Blue Ribbon Sports opened its first store in California. The following year, he increased the distribution work due to the vigorous demand for their shoes.

The contract between Blue Ribbon and Tiger finally ended in 1971, then Blue Ribbon Sports decided to make their own brand of footwear.

The company name was officially changed from Blue Ribbon Sports to Nike on 30 May 1971 which is named after a devi of Unan and its logo was designed by a graphics designer named Karoli, he got the logo for $35 and this tick mark logo ( Woosh) quickly became Nike’s identity.

Around 1980 Nike added a lot of items such as clothing, tracksuits and related products of shoes to its business, in addition to footwear which became another name of fashion for American Youth.

Nike’s colourful shoes and sneakers were in high demand among teenagers and it was the reason, Nike shoes were able to occupy 50% of the market till 1980.

In 1984, the famous basketball player Michael Jordan was signed for its promotion and then many famous players like Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Cristiano Ronaldo, Serena Williams became the hallmark of this brand.

Apart from this, Nike has also been an official sports kit sponsor of the Indian cricket team since 2005. And by 2020, the company’s revenue reached 34.8 billion US dollars. As of July 23, 2020, Phillip knight was ranked by Forbes as the 26th richest person in the world.

Credit: Pinterest


So did you see, how Philip’s mindset turned him into a billionaire, now I’m sure you’ll believe in my words that a crazy idea can make you into a multi-billionaire.

Friends, in the end, I would like to say that if you want to change your life, then you can make your progress with a small step and

The Bottom Line

This is the main story behind the success of Nike, the multi-billionaire sportswear company in the USA.

In this article, I’ve shared the story of a billionaire Philip Hampton Knight how he thought of fulfilling his dream and took action for it. You should be inspired by the “How He Started” part of this article.

Which part of this story did you enjoy most? Let me know in the comment section.

Now it’s your turn to tell the inspiring story of Nike to others.

If you liked this post don’t forget to share it with your friends and family.

Thanks for visiting.  Ta Da!

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