Nike

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The history of the brand

The Nike brand is a household name known for its high-quality athletic footwear and apparel. But where did it all begin? Here's a look at the history of Nike, from its founding in 1964 to its position as a leader in the industry today.

It all started with University of Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman and his former student Phil Knight. They founded a company called Blue Ribbon Sports, which initially imported and sold Japanese running shoes in the US. In 1972, Bowerman came up with the idea for the "Waffle Trainer," a running shoe with a waffle-shaped sole that provided improved traction and cushioning. This innovative design helped to establish Nike as a pioneer in the athletic shoe industry. The following year, the company officially changed its name to Nike, after the Greek goddess of victory.

One of the key products that has contributed to Nike's success is the Dunk, a basketball shoe that was first released in 1985. The Dunk was initially released as a college basketball shoe, with several universities signing on to have their team colors and logos featured on the shoe. However, it quickly gained popularity beyond the college basketball world and became a popular choice for casual wear as well. Over the years, Nike has released various versions of the Dunk, including the Dunk Low, which features a lower profile, and the Dunk High, which has a higher profile.

Another popular product in Nike's lineup is the Air Max, a line of running shoes that feature a visible air cushioning unit in the sole. The Air Max 1, released in 1987, was a major success and paved the way for the release of other Air Max models such as the Air Max 90, which was released in 1990 and featured an updated design with more visible air cushioning.

In 1985, Nike also released the Air Jordan 1, a signature shoe for basketball player Michael Jordan. The Air Jordan 1 was an immediate hit and helped to establish Nike as a dominant force in the basketball shoe market. The shoe has been released in various versions over the years, including the Air Jordan 1 Low, which features a lower profile, the Air Jordan 1 Mid, which has a mid-top design, and the Air Jordan 1 High, which has a high-top design.

Throughout its history, Nike has continued to innovate and release new and popular products, such as the Nike+ line of fitness tracking devices and the Nike Adapt line of self-lacing shoes. The company has also faced controversy, such as the criticism for its use of sweatshops in the 1990s and more recent allegations of mistreatment of workers in its supply chain. However, Nike has taken steps to address these issues and has continued to be a leading brand in the athletic footwear and apparel industry.

In conclusion, the Nike brand has a long and storied history, with a number of iconic products that have contributed to its success. From the Dunk and Air Max to the Air Jordan and more recent innovations like the Nike+ and Nike Adapt, the company has consistently set the standard for athletic footwear and apparel. While it has faced challenges, Nike has remained a dominant force in the industry and is sure to continue shaping the future of athletics and style for years to come.