The following are excerpts from Harvard Business Review’s Interview with Nike’s Phil Knight. There is no chronological order to these quotes, each acts a powerful insight into different components of the Nike Brand…

“The company realized that the way forward was to expand its focus from the design and manufacture of the product, where Nike had always excelled, to the consumer and the brand —in short, it learned to be marketing oriented.” (Knight, 2014)

“A brand is something that has a clear-cut identity among consumers, which a company creates by sending out a clear, consistent message over a period of years until it achieves a critical mass of marketing.” (Knight, 2014)

“We went into casual shoes in the early 1980s when we saw that the running shoe business, which was about one-third of our revenues at the time, was slowing down. We knew that a lot of people were buying our shoes and wearing them to the grocery store and for walking to and from work. Since we happened to be good at shoes, we thought we could be successful with casual shoes” (Knight, 2014)

“Whether you’re talking about the core consumer or the person on the street, the principle is the same: you have to come up with what the consumer wants, and you need a vehicle to understand it.” (Knight, 2014)


During the development process, I hope to work in tandem with The Ohio State University soccer teams. Similar to how Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman tested their footwear with Oregon University track athletes, I hope to utilize the teams as product testers. By doing so, it also caters towards the market. If high performance athletes(e.g. Division 1 college athletes) are finding use in the wearable goods, that endorsement would trickle down to other levels of the sport, be it: high school, recreation, youth league. This traces back to the principle that Knight discussed in his interview: Whether it’s the core consumer or a person on the street, you have to come up with something that the people desire. In this instance, people will want what the best athletes are using because of the connection to those athletes and the belief that it will benefit their own development.


Willigan, G. (2014, August 1). High-performance marketing: An interview with Nike’s Phil Knight. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved September 21, 2022, from