Phil Knight, Just Do It!

Born in Portland, Oregon in 1938, Philip Hampson Knight, better known as Phil Knight has an estimated net worth of $19.1 billion. Phil has amassed his wealth from the fact that he is the co-founder and chairman of Nike Inc., a globally known sports brand.

Phil Knight has had quite a journey in becoming one of the most successful men alive. He went to Cleveland High School and later joined the University of Oregon from where he earned a degree in journalism. Knight was also champion on the tracks as he participated in middle distance races while in school.

nike logoThe iconic logo was acquired for only $35

He also served in the US Army for a year in active duty and another seven years in the Reserves. When he was through with his service in the military, Knight decided to enroll himself for a Masters’ degree in Business Administration in the Stanford Graduate School of Business. It is here that he actually discovered his calling and passion as an entrepreneur. 

Phil Knight loved traveling and it was during one of his traveling excursions that he discovered a Japanese company known as Tiger Running Shoes. He went ahead and struck a deal with the company’s owner and he immediately went into business, selling products of Tiger in western parts of the United States. He would sell shoes from the trunk of his car during weekends and during weekdays he was working as a teacher of accounting at Portland State.

Phil sent some of these shoes to Oregon University’s track coach, Bill Bowerman. The business was picking up and eventually Phil decided against teaching in favor of a full time job with Tiger. With the help of Bowerman, Phil made a choice to go into business and in 1964; he subsequently formed Blue Ribbon Sports, the company that would eventually give birth to Nike. 

The decades to follow could only add smiles to the faces of Phil and Bowerman as their company grew from a small upstart company, into one of the leading and most popular shoe brands ever. As chairman and co-founder of Nike Inc., Phil Knight has become one of the richest businessmen on earth. 

Phil Knight also owns an Animation studio called Will Vinton Studios which he bought in 2002 and his son, Travis is the CEO to another of Knight’s video production ventures, Laika. Nike continues to do well in the industry and the firm was in 2010 named the official on-field kit provider for NFL, replacing its archrival Reebok.

Outside life as a billionaire and or entrepreneur, Phil is a family man married to Penelope Parks (1963) and the two have three children. 

Interesting Facts about Phil Knight

  • Phil Knight is the co-founder and chairman of Nike Inc.
  • Phil was an accounting teacher before he ventured into business.
  • He was a champion on the tracks where he participated in middle distance races when still in school. 
  • He served actively in the army for one year and seven years in the Reserves.
  • He has a master’s degree in Business Administration from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
  • He paid only $35 to get the iconic swoosh logo for his company.
  • He renamed his company after a 1971 Greek goddess of Victory.
  • He is behind Stanford University’s Knight Management Center which launched this past May.

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