How Was "Nike" Named?
From Nike History:
Nike got its start in Eugene, Oregon, and was the creation of two men, Bill Bowerman (1911–1999) and Philip Knight (1938–). Bowerman was a track-and-field coach at the University of Oregon who was constantly searching for an athletic shoe that would help his teams run faster and jump higher. Knight was a businessman who had been a runner on one of Bowerman's teams when he was in college. Knight and Bowerman teamed up in 1962, first to import Japanese running shoes, then to experiment with their own designs. They called their company Blue Ribbon Sports.
Though Knight and Bowerman were successful in creating shoes that improved athletes' performance on the field, they had to figure out how to sell their shoes to a wider market. In 1972, they adopted the name Nike, after the winged Greek goddess of victory, and their trademark "swoosh." The trademark was designed by Carolyn Davidson, a Portland State University graphic design student who was paid about $40 for the logo.
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