What was Nike called before it changed its name?

Nike, one of the world’s most recognizable and successful athletic brands, was not always known by its current name. In fact, the company went through several name changes before settling on the iconic moniker we know today.

The origins of Nike can be traced back to 1964, when it was founded by University of Oregon track athlete Phil Knight and his coach Bill Bowerman. The company was initially named “Blue Ribbon Sports” (BRS) and operated as a distributor for the Japanese shoe company Onitsuka Tiger, now known as ASICS.

The name “Blue Ribbon Sports” was chosen by Knight and Bowerman as a nod to the blue ribbons awarded to winners in track and field events. The company’s first retail store opened in Santa Monica, California in 1966, and the following year, BRS launched its first branded product – a track shoe called the “Tiger.”

In 1971, BRS decided to part ways with Onitsuka Tiger and develop its own line of shoes. This decision was met with a lawsuit from Onitsuka, claiming that BRS had breached their contract. As a result, BRS was forced to change its name and branding.

The company’s first choice for a new name was “Dimension 6,” but this was quickly rejected by Knight and Bowerman. They then considered “Peregrine,” a type of falcon known for its speed and agility, but this name was also rejected.

Finally, in 1971, the company settled on “Nike,” named after the Greek goddess of victory. The name was suggested by Jeff Johnson, the company’s first employee and the man responsible for designing the iconic “swoosh” logo. Johnson had a dream in which the name “Nike” came to him, and he shared it with Knight and Bowerman, who immediately loved it.

The new name and logo were officially unveiled in 1971, and the company’s first shoe under the Nike brand, the “Cortez,” was released the following year. The “swoosh” logo, which was designed to represent the wings of the goddess Nike, quickly became synonymous with the brand and is now one of the most recognizable logos in the world.

The name change to Nike marked a turning point for the company, as it shifted from being a distributor for another brand to becoming a brand in its own right. The company’s success continued to grow, and by the late 1970s, Nike had become a household name in the world of athletics.

In 1980, Nike went public and became a publicly traded company, further solidifying its position as a major player in the athletic industry. The company continued to expand its product line, adding apparel and accessories to its range of shoes.

Today, Nike is a global brand with a presence in over 190 countries and a revenue of over $39 billion in 2020. The company’s success can be attributed not only to its high-quality products but also to its strong branding and marketing strategies, which were established with the name change to Nike.

In conclusion, Nike’s journey to becoming the iconic brand we know today was marked by several name changes. From “Blue Ribbon Sports” to “Nike,” the company’s name has evolved along with its growth and success. The name “Nike” has become synonymous with victory, speed, and excellence, making it a fitting choice for a brand that has dominated the athletic industry for decades.

What was Nike called before it changed its name?

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