What comes next?
Dear Jody in Seattle-I just now forwarded JC's column to you in case you missed it...Please sell the team to Phil Knight ASAP...thank you...Your Friend Robb (ex season ticket holder)
yes Jordan got Nike "over the top" so to speak, but the "Bo Knows" Ad campaign also was very instrumental in keeping the focus on Nike, as was Tiger, and Ken Griffey Jr. Deion Sanders not nearly as much. (IMO).
Saw the film at a screening Sunday it’s very good. I respect Knights business foresight to an extent although Wieden Kennedy is the secret sauce in Nike which is really a marketing/PR company disguised as an apparel co. And because he’s such an influential figure in the PNW he gets treated with reverence and seems immune to fair questions about his business model. I’m a capitalist and believe in open markets but as a minority, I see thru Knight. Here’s a guy who made shoes overseas where he could get the cheapest labor (read: sweatshops. Fact) marked up said product by 500% plus, specifically targeted a demographic (read: poor black kids) and then used their heroes to sell it to them. How many Black mothers could afford to pay for overpriced shoes for their kids? How many of those kids have literally gotten murdered on the streets over their shoes (fact. Happens routinely) Knight the Philanthropist? It’s called a tax write off. I don’t know. Guy gets a huge pass and he’s certainly no criminal but I also think the means he used to rise to prominence……
Film is great. Huge Jordan fan. Phil Knight? Complicated legacy if we are being honest. Next chapter to your point John: Not sure but it won’t include a Ducks CFB national championship despite a billion spent.
I'm no Phil Knight fan any more than I was a fan of John Arrillaga, but give me a Haas or a Bechtel and I will jump for joy....hahahaha.
That said, can any movie or book about Knight not mention Steve Prefontaine. Back in 1974, Nike was hunting for an athlete to wear their running shoes. They found Steve Prefontaine and signed with him for $5,000. I guess I am old enough to remember that way before Jordan...
John. If you haven’t but I bet you have, read Shoe Dog before seeing Air. What a gutsy innovative ingenious entrepreneur he is. I remember in 1968 one of his reps coming into our gym at Sunset High and pitching Onitchka’s (sp) to us on the track team. Blue Ribbon was made up on the spot! I so hope he gets his hands on the Blazers.
Oh Lord Mr. USC. Your charges against Nike/Knight/Oregon Ducks are hilarious and typical for USC. I am an Oregon alum and worked at Nike during the time Air Jordan was created. I have lived in Southern California for the past 40 years and have enjoyed the annual scandals that USC enjoys. Yes, you have a winning football team. Where is Reggie’s Heisman, where did Pete run to? How long were you on probation? How much will it cost me to buy my grandson into your vaunted University? He can pretend to row crew as well as the Hollywood kids. How much is your scandal with the Medical School costing your alum? Prostitutes and crystal meth enjoyed by your Dean of Medicine. Are you adding it to the cost of your school’s gynecologist? Accepting bribes from LA City Councilmen? Fight On. P.S. is that a swoosh on your uniforms?
Comments as much fun as the article! Thanks to the fans...
Probably not a great or even an accurate analogy, but it appears Phil Knight is to sports marketing what Warren Buffet is to market investing. An icon in every sense of the word.
well articulated. This column is an "around the corner" look at the next iteration for Knight. Question...is there a smoldering rift between Allen and Knight. Perhaps Columbo might know.
Spring, 1984 and Nike was no sure thing as an investment. They were struggling with market share (remember when only a few higher-end retail outlets carried Nike shoes?) and stagnate product line. Their most recent innovation, the air sole insert, was new to market and unproven. I remember all this because as a 2nd year MBA student at the U of O, our group was assigned to analyze the athletic shoe business and one of our props for the presentation was an air sole insert on a keychain.
The rest, as they say, is history. I highly recommended reading "Shoe Dog", the story of Phil Knight and Nike. Then go see "Air".
My favorite Nike story, and as someone growing up in Albany and running track and field and x-country at the time of its creation, I have a few, is about my track buddy (and he still is), Jake. He bought a very early pair of Nike running "waffle" shoes. The soles were literally right out of the waffle iron Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight used to invent the shoe and is a big part of the book "Shoe Dog" and likely the movie. Prefontaine was still running for the Ducks (this is the fall of 1972). The salesman, working out of the back of his station wagon parked in back of our HS was Kenny Moore (I think, could have been Jeff Johnson; long time ago), who was a 1960s Ducks marathon runner. All of us wore Adidas in that time, pre-Nike. We thought Jake was crazy to buy these untested shoes out of the back of a car. Our first meet where he wore the shoes, the soles fell off about one mile into the race. He took them off and threw them into the nearby field and finished the race barefoot. What would those shoes be worth today if he had held onto them?!!
There is no way to know if Nike would have killed it without MJs endorsement. Phil Knight, with his personality, would have kept on trying with other athletes. He already had that endorsement formula as he had Pre promoting his track shoes by 1974 and Ilie (Nasty) Nastase and others promoting tennis shoes. But it is fun to speculate.
For a significant part of my career, negotiation was part of how I added value at work. For the last 5 years or so, it was the major part of what I did at work. The most difficult negotiation is one where the other party doesn't really know what they want or are not smart enough to let you know what they want, without in their mind undermining their negotiating position. I'm not sure how Phil will solve that riddle unless he is willing to write a check that is way over the Blazers fair market value. That said, the fact that the new collective bargaining agreement is about to wrap up, and the draft will be completed on June 23rd, should help the valuation of the team become more straightforward. Maybe after June 23rd we see progress? As a fan, since their inaugural season, I certainly hope that is the case.
Great stuff. Thanks, JC.
Perhaps the Pac-10 should engage PK to consult (take the lead) on the new media deal negotiations. If negotiations are ongoing?
The rope-a-dope strategy worked for Ali. Will it work for the Pac-10? The conference is getting pounded by 3rd parties and who do we hear from? The president of Arizona. The president of ASU. And the Utah AD. Crickets from the commissioner.
The marketing of the conference unlike NIKE helping Oregon with marketing over the years is vapid. The 'Elite Club' has turned into a joke.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Kliavkoff deemed it necessary to hire an assistant commissioner. The assistant commissioner is going to protect the commissioner from getting sucker-punched by Kevin Warren, the B1G, FOX, Carol Folt, USC, UCLA, and the B12 commissioner. I very much doubt it.
Would this have happened to PK had he been in charge? I doubt it.
"I'm mad as hell but I'm going to have to continue to take it." Or, hope for an Oregon invite from the B1G.
I knew Sonny back in the day when I worked in Las Vegas and I am looking forward to watching the movie. However, I have less and less faith in the Pac-10 holding together.
I agree I think that would be a dream. Come true for Uncle Phil to run the Blazers. I hope it happens soon though due to his age, but also with a couple other sports teams out there like the commanders and the hornets for sale, I bet the blazers price tag will be at least 3 million. GO BLAZERS!
MAGIC JOHNSON TURNED KNIGHT DOWN HIS ROOKIE YEAR IN THE NBA. THE NIKE CLASS A STOCK THAT KNIGHT OFFERED WOULD BE WORTH BILLIONS TODAY
Knight and Nike really did change the world. Jordan was/is a huge part of that.