Nike began on January 25, 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports with a $500 investment from each founding partner, Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman. Phil Knight was a track and field competitor in college and Bill Bowerman was his coach. The two men started Blue Ribbon Sports as distributors of shoes manufactured by the Onitsuka company in Japan.
The first retail store opened as a BRS retail store located in Santa Monica, CA in 1966. In the early 1970's Blue Ribbon Sports expanded beyond the shoe distribution business to become shoe manufacturers. On May 30, 1978, the company officially became Nike, Inc., a name that is credited to the imagination of the company's first employee, Jeff Johnson.
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