Nike the Goddess of the Athletes

by Charlotte Smith

Nike Goddess of the Athletes

What comes first to your mind when someone says the word “Nike”?  You might think of the Greek goddess Nike – goddess of victory, strength, agility and the like.  Or you might think of Nike – the famous sports equipment company that services almost all sports ranging from basketball to swimming.


Before it became an athletic company conglomerate, it actually started off as a modest shoe store. It was founded by a college track and field athlete and his coach, Phil Knight, and Bill Bowerman. They started off importing shoes from Japan and selling them directly to coaches and athletes.


Soon after they wanted to manufacture their own shoes. They asked different runners what they wanted from a pair of trainers. After many trials and errors, they produced and marketed their own light-weight trainer specifically aimed towards runners.

Are you still interested in learning more about Nike? Read on to discover facts about the company you probably didn’t know!

Nike the Goddess of the Athletes

Fish and Kangaroo

The first Nike shoe prototypes were made of fish and kangaroo. This was an effort to design a shoe that has adequate support for its runners for miles to come. Bowerman experimented with different materials and Knight tested each shoe until they got the “formula” just right.

Nike Does Homework

Nike was originally a product of Knight’s college assignments. He needed to create a business plan as one of his final projects.


He proposed that shoes could be produced cheaper in a country where costs of living were very low. After manufacturing the shoes there, they would be imported to the United States and then marketed for high school and college level athletes. He thought Japan would be the most cost-efficient country. Nike was still light years away from the giant they are today and had to save money in every way possible, but ingenious, well-targeted marketing strategy was already put in place.

Even though this is a far cry from today’s advanced social media marketing tactics and the tempting discounts Nike offers, it illustrates the DNA of the company from very early on.

Nike the Goddess of the Athletes

Waffle Iron Inspired Shoes

Bowerman very much desired to design and manufacture shoes that had the best traction and could absorb energy.  One day, while Bowerman was eating a waffle, he thought that the inverted waffle iron pattern could be implemented on a shoe.  He experimented with the idea and that’s how the Nike’s Waffle Trainer was born.

Nike Recycles

Nike recycles and it ends up under your feet on a playground. Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program uses raw materials from shoes to create the surface for playgrounds, track flooring, and gym floor tiling.

Want to learn even more about Nike? Read through our infographic!

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