Nike Co-Founder Phil Knight Returns to Talk about Memoir, "Shoe Dog"
Nike co-founder Phil Knight spoke Monday night about his book “Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike” [Scribner, 400 pages, $29] after a week of east coast interviews about it. It was published on May 1.
“Shoe Dog” documents Knight’s journey to creating Nike, from his early 1960s theory at the Stanford Graduate School of Business that Japanese running shoes might be worth something, to convincing his father to bankroll his ideas in 1962, to 1980 where he took his first business trip to China and when the company made its first public stock offering. Nowadays, Forbes listed Nike in 2015 as the most valuable sports brand in the world, with its value being $26 billion. The memoir also details the premier employees and their day to day work in a new company, struggling to make it survive.
The interview, directed by The New Yorker essayist Adam Gopnik, took place at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall and was virtually sold out. He asked several questions that Knight had heard in previous interviews, but also created a few new especially dedicated to him. This included questions about the creation of Blue Ribbon Sports, the predecessor to Nike, and ones about how the company may have evolved if headquarters was in, for instance, New Jersey instead of Oregon.
Audience members included past Nike executives who has long since left the company and Jeff Johnson, the first fulltime employee for Blue Ribbon Sports and the letter-writer credited with the creation of the Nike name in 1971.
A more detailed description of the interview and ensuing Q&A can be found on OregonLive.