Skip to Main Content
Nike logo

Find a Mentor: 
Nike Mentors

About Nike

While this company’s “swoosh” is now one of the most familiar symbols in the world, the Eugene,OR-based company—co-founded by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman as Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964—got its start as a distributor of Japanese running shoes; Knight sold them out of the trunk of his car at track meets. Now Nike controls roughly 60 percent of global market share.

In 1971, Knight and Bowerman split from their Japanese supplier, renamed the company Nike (after the Greek goddess of victory), and began designing and manufacturing their own shoes. Bowerman, who was also the track coach at the University of Oregon, was experimenting with ways to improve his runners’ speed. In the early-1970s, Bowerman destroyed the family waffle iron, and created Nike’s first smash, 1974’s “Waffle Trainer.” But it was the multiyear exclusive deal with Michae Jordan (where the basketball legend could design his own shoes), first signed in 1984, that really exploded the company into the public consciousness. Ironically, Knight didn’t like the name “Nike” at first, nor did he like the now iconic “swoosh” insignia when he first saw it.

The public voice of Nike has always been in favor of racial, gender, and ability equality, and nowadays. In fact, the greatest controversies surrounding the company lately has been in criticism of its support of Black Lives Matter. Meanwhile, employees at Nike Inc. are treated very well, with comprehensive health coverage, retirement benefits, and flexible schedules. Additionally, Nike employees are eligible for free and discounted fitness opportunities and sports facilities, transportation and tuition assistance, product discounts, paid sabbaticals, employee stock purchase plans, and paid vacation and holidays.


One Bowerman Drive
Beaverton, OR 97005
Phone: (503) 671-6453

Firm Stats

President & CEO: John Donahoe

Major Office Locations

New York, NY
East Melbourne, Australia
Olivos, Argentina

Major Departments & Practices

Administrative Support
Advanced Innovation
Air Manufacturing Innovation
Customer Service
Data & Analytics
Finance & Accounting
Government & Public Affairs
Human Resources
Manufacturing & Engineering
Privacy Procurement
Product Creation
Development & Management
Retail Corporate
Retail Stores
Sales Social & Community Impact
Sports Marketing
Strategic Planning
Supply Chain
Distribution & Logistics