Nike is known to be the most successful sporting brand in the world. Its market cap exceeds $200 billion, and it is worth twice the amount of its closest competitor. The brand has been able to reach the top and hold its position there because of its incredible business strategy. The company uses an emotional marketing strategy and has spent a lot of money on sports sponsorships throughout its history.
One of the most recognizable features of Nike is its logo, the iconic Nike Swoosh, which people from all around the globe can easily recognize. What most people don’t know is that the logo has a very interesting history. Nike was named after the Greek goddess of victory, and its logo was designed with the image of this winged goddess in mind. This is only the beginning of the story of its famous logo.
While most of the world is very familiar with the black color of the Nike logo, it has taken on a few different colors during its history of being used for the sporting brand. The original Swoosh logo was red and stayed that way for many years. In fact, Nike used red and white as its main colors for its logo and other branding for a long time. Color is hugely important in creating a brand that sticks in peoples’ minds and using the color red was a way of conveying passion, victory, and energy. Over the years, the logo has also been a pitch black and a shade of orange.
Nike was able to save quite a bit of money when originally having the logo designed. It was created by a student attending Portland University named Carolyn Davidson. Phil Knight had been taking a class in accounting and had happened to hear Carolyn talking to some friends about how she couldn’t afford to take a painting class. He made a decision to ask her if she could design the logo for Nike and ended up paying her only $35 for the finished Swoosh design. This came out to just $2 an hour for the creation of a brand logo that has helped to cement the sporting brand in the minds of millions of people.
What many people don’t know is that Phil Knight later decided to honor Carolyn Davidson by putting together a part for her. During the party, she was given a golden ring that had a diamond on it that was in the shape of Nike’s logo. She was also given 500 shares in Nike, which was worth a lot of money at that time. What is interesting about all of this is the fact that Knight had rejected her initial design of the logo countless times before finally giving in and accepting her work.
Another interesting fact connected to Nike’s logo is that the words “Just Do It” were the last words that came out of the mouth of a well known serial killer. This killer’s name was Gary Mark Gilmore, and he has gone down in history because he called for his own execution. While sitting in the electric chair, awaiting his execution, he spoke the words “Just Do It.” An advertising professional later admitted that he got his idea for the slogan from this serial killer.
While many people may think that Nike’s Swoosh logo probably appeared on a pair of sneakers originally, this is not the case. The first place the logo appeared was on a pair of soccer cleats during the earlier part of the 1970s. Unfortunately, the shoe itself wasn’t designed very well and didn’t hold together as it was tried out in the elements. This inspired the sporting brand to focus more on creating products that were durable.
The Nike Swoosh logo took a total of 17 hours to design, which may surprise many as it seems a very simple design. Carolyn Davidson later admitted that it was very challenging to come up with a design that would be able to fit on a shoe. She was also competing with Adidas and needed to come up with something that would lift Nike above its main competitor. Her design was eventually a success, which is apparent in how easy it is for people to think of the Nike brand when seeing its memorable logo.