CNBC Insight Learn from Philip Hampton Knight, Guinea Pig-Main IDR 637 T Entrepreneur – 1 day ago


Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Nike is one of the most famous shoe brands in the world. However, not many people know that initially someone was 'sacrificed' as a guinea pig.

Interestingly, even though he was the subject of an experiment, this figure now has assets of US$ 40.8 billion or Rp. 637 T. What's the story?


This guinea pig story happened to Philip Hampton Knight or Phil Knight since the 1960s. At that time, Phil Knight, who was a track athlete at the University of Oregon, met his coach, Bill Bowerman.

Coincidentally, Bowerman had a crazy idea. He wants to make his own shoes.

Using knowledge from a shoemaker he met, he then learned a lot about making shoes. Starting from measuring the feet, selecting materials, to forming other functional parts.

All of this is done every week. So, every week there are new shoes to try out. And to make sure the shoes were fit for use, Bowerman appointed Phil Knight as a guinea pig.

Knight in Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE (2016) said that there were actually 5 other people who became guinea pigs for their trainer's crazy idea. However, of the five people, only Knight was quite lovable.

The reason is because Knight is not a good track athlete. So, to improve the quality of running, Bowerman saw this as a great opportunity to experiment with his shoes. He thought, who knows, those shoes might make Knight good at running.

“As a freshman and junior, I couldn't count the number of times I ran races to try out shoes made by Bowerman,” Knight recalled.

However, behind it all, apparently there was a blessing in itself that would change the course of Knight's life. After becoming guinea pigs, Knight and Bowerman's relationship grew closer. Moreover, after Knight tested the shoes made by Bowerman, he was successful in getting other people to win gold medals at the Olympics.

The closeness between the two continued when they started the Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS) shoe business in January 1964. At BRS, Knight was the founder and Bowerman was the co-founder. Both of them do not make shoes, but are only distributors and sell shoes made in Japan on Uncle Sam's land.

BRS only made its own shoes in the 1970s. This happened after Bowerman experimented with making shoe soles from waffle molds. Of course, once again the results of this experiment were tested again by Knight. Unexpectedly the experiment was very satisfying.

Since then, the two of them have been producing their own shoes. Later, BRS changed its name to Nike in 1971. At the same time, the “Swoosh” was introduced as Nike's new logo which still exists today.

In the following years, Nike quickly became a world shoe giant. In 1980 alone, Nike controlled 50% of the shoe market in the United States. This record became even bigger after the company was listed on the stock exchange in the same year.

Now, quoting CNBC International, Nike has sales of more than US$ 30 billion or Rp. 447.2 billion. Meanwhile Knight noted Forbes has assets of US$ 40.8 billion or Rp. 637 T.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]

Next Article

This Indonesian Tycoon Once Controlled a Quarter of Singapore

(mfa/sef)