Founder of Nike

founder of nike

This American clothing company was started by William Jay Bowerman (alias Bill Bowerman) and Philip Hampson Knight (alias Phil Knight) in 1964. At the time, the company traded as Blue Ribbon Sports. Currently, Knight is the company’s chairman and owns a 25% stake in it giving him a net worth of $18.2 billion.

However, Phil is not just famous for his wealth; he has been a very active alumnus of the University of Oregon. Having been a track star at this university, Knight has put his money where his feet were and has spent hundreds of millions of dollars improving the sporting conditions at the institution.

In addition, he has also promised Oregon's Health & Science School a $500 million donation if the school can raise an equivalent amount. Speaking of Bill Bowerman, he was a coach at the University of Oregon where numerous talented athletes passed through his hands including several Olympic Gold Medalists: Dyrol Burleson, Otis Davis and Jim Grelle.

At Nike’s inception, Bowerman did the designing of the shoes while Knight dealt with marketing. In fact, it was Bill who invented the now famous waffle sole by using his wife’s iron-box as a mould.

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