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Global footwear giant Nike began in 1963 as a small-scale business venture between University of Oregon runner Phil Knight and his coach, Bill Bowerman. Initially operating as an Onitsuka Tigers importer, personal ambition led Knight and Bowerman to begin designing their own sneakers under the Nike moniker in 1970. Defined by a distinctive waffle outsole, the duo’s creations quickly gained market momentum - Nike Air technology was patented in 1979, enabling creation of the wildly popular Air Force 1 in 1982, and an endorsement deal signed with Michael Jordan in 1984 put the brand on the path to becoming an enduring pop culture phenomenon. Today, Nike retains a coveted top spot in the streetwear and athletic wear markets, staying on the cutting edge of materials research, and refreshing its relevancy with vital collaborations from Supreme to Comme des Garçons.
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