Some of the world’s most pressing questions: Why did the chicken cross the road? What is the meaning of life? And finally, Why is Nike called Nike? Luckily, we know the answer – and it’s a lot more interesting than you’d think…
Originally called Blue Ribbon, Nike was founded by legendary running coach Bill Bowerman and his student Phil Knight. Both avid runners, the duo was passionate about finding innovative ways to extend their run and craft the world’s most covetable running shoe.
During his twenties, Knight travelled the world in search of inspiration, culture and adventure. He happened across a statue of Nike – the Greek winged goddess of victory. Years later when brainstorming potential company names with his team, Johnson – a colleague – suggested they change the brand’s name from Blue Ribbon to Nike. Knight didn’t love it and suggested instead that they name the company Dimension6; no one was keen and they had a 9am deadline so he took a leap of faith. And so the world-famous Nike brand was born.
Another interesting fact about the brand is the origin of the Swoosh logo. Now I don’t know about you, but I definitely thought it was a tick – I literally always called it the “Nike Tick” (what a rookie), but ALAS! It was actually designed by Carolyn Davidson (for a mere $35) to represent the arch of movement as the word ‘swoosh’ stands for sound, speed and motion. The shape of the arch is also inspired by the wing-like shape of Nike – the Greek goddess. The combination of this logo and the globally recognised name birthed one of the most successful sportswear brands on the planet and put Knight at the forefront of success.
Now, although we can’t tell you why the chicken crossed the road or what the meaning of life is, what we can tell you is to read Phil Knight’s book, Shoe Dog, for more about the history of the Nike brand. Trust us – it’ll change your life.