The Name

The Name text

The Name

Jeff Johnson, 'Employee #1' at Blue Ribbon Sports who met Phil Knight at Stanford University, came up with the name in a dream.

As a free thinker, who studied Greek mythology, he had read about the great brand names that become household terms, such as Kleenex and Xerox. They had no more than two syllables and at least one exotic letter or sound in them like a Z, X or K.
Johnson drifted off to sleep trying to dream up a catchy term that fit these parameters.

The company desperately needed a new name. A huge order of new sample shoes was about to be shipped from Japan the following week and they were in danger of leaving the factory without any branding on the shoe boxes. At 6:30 a.m. in the morning, Johnson abruptly woke up from a sound sleep, shot up in bed and knew he had it.

“I’ve had one good idea in my life, and this was it”, he said. Johnson called the West Coast where BRS was located, explained the story about iconic brand names, and that the word ‘Nike’ was the Greek winged goddess of victory. Ironically, nobody at Nike “liked it”. 

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