CNBC's premiere of their in-depth look at the history of Nike and its cultural attachment with society is set to hit a television near you on February 12th. A trailer from the inaugural episode address' the campaign behind "Just Do It", the slogan that would go on to become a house hold phrase around the world.
The Swoosh is one of the world's most instantly recognisable logos and is seen adorning countless trainers and items of sportswear. Yet the emblem, which became the basis for the multibillion-dollar Nike brand, was designed by a little-known university student named Carolyn Davidson who charged Nike just $35 for her design.
Davidson, a graphic design student at Portland State University, was approached in 1971 by a University of Oregon track runner, Phil Knight, and his coach, Bill Bowerman, who needed a logo for a new line of running shoes they were to introduce. The pair, who had set up the Blue Ribbon Sports company, asked Davidson to suggest some designs for the new line, which they had decided to name Nike after the Greek goddess of victory.
Davidson agreed and charged the pair a fee of $2 per hour for her work, eventually submitting a bill for $35. She was subsequently recompensed through stock options as the company grew. After she handed it over, Mr Knight was slow to see its potential, reportedly saying: "I don't love it, but it will grow on me."
It's one of the only logos without words accompanying it. Over time it has gained equity and confidence to set itself free from the word Nike and that is a very brave step for a brand to take. It is a logo that can be seen in any colour and you still recognise it as Nike."
Dan Wieden reveals how "Just Do It." became Nike's tagline. Excerpt from Feb 12 premiere of "Swoosh! Inside Nike". Tuesday, Feb. 12 @ 10p/1a ET on CNBC.