Phil has been called the most powerful man in sports, but here at DRIPT he is the most powerful man in sports. Long before he started NIKE or even Blue Ribbon Sports he had a dream of playing Baseball in the Majors. Sadly that dream ended when he was cut from his High School baseball team. Once he was cut from the team he then took up track and continued to run throughout high school. in 1955 he enrolled in the University of Oregon and there he ran track for Bill Bowerman, his future business partner. Phil believed that Coach Bowerman was the greatest track coach ever and they both shared the idea that current running shoes were slowing their runners down and Bill was importing shoes in order to better the times and make running easier for runners. He was importing his shoes from Japan from Onitsuka and in 1964 with $500 each from Phil and Bill, the starter company, Blue Ribbon Sports was created.
In the early stages of the company Phil was selling shoes out of the trunk of his car at track meets. In 1972 they began making shoes for runners and Bill Bowerman used his wifes waffle iron to create the soles for sneakers and it created better traction with less rubber. They created shoes that runners wanted, simply because they were runners and a part of the running world, so they knew what was needed. They slowly grew to 45 employees and at that point one of the employees suggested the name Nike for the Greek goddess of Victory. Originally he did not like the name but now he says that it grew on him. Going back a little he says that now that they were a company they needed a name and a logo. He said at the time Ford spent $2 million on their trademark but they didnt have that so they went to the Portland State graphic arts department and there was a woman saying she didn't know how she would afford her prom dress. Phil cut in and said he had a job for the woman, she took the job for $2 an hour and spent 17 hours creating it and he paid her $35 for the swoosh. In 1980 when the company went public Nike gave Carolyn Davidson(the designer) shares of the company to which she has held on to and she is doing quite nicely for herself now.
Sadly within the last 15 years Phil has suffered two hard losses. In 1999 Bill Bowerman passed away and in 2004 he lost his son in a scuba diving accident. In January 2011 Phil dedicated the Matthew Knight Arena at the university of Oregon in memory of his son Matthew.
In 1984 Nike teamed up with Micheal Jordan and now Jordan Brand is its own separate thing but Nike has teamed up with numerous athletes and stars like Poreotix, since then.
Check out the tour of the campus in the youtube video.