For the first time since its inception,
As much as a company, Knight built and maintained a brand that is now recognized as one of the most valuable in the world. He reportedly proclaimed once that he wasn’t in the shoe business; he was in the entertainment business. That mindset drove the creative marketing that has led Nike to make some of the most memorable slogans and ad campaigns in history.
It often fell to Knight to guide and protect the Nike brand through scandals, such as the revelations in the mid-1990s that many Nike products were made in sweatshops using child labor. It was also Knight, with prodding from Nike consultant Sonny Vaccaro, who recognized the promotional promise of a young Michael Jordan and launched a collaboration that redefined sportswear—Air Jordans.