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5 Mind-Blowing Stats From Phil Knight’s Nike Tenure

He sold his first pair of sneakers out of his car in 1964. Now he makes billions

Jul 01, 2015 at 8:57 AM ET

Phil Knight started Nike in 1964 with Bob Bowerman, each putting in $500—the company’s revenue is now $30.6 billion. Knight, 77, announced Tuesday he is stepping down as chairman of the company, the end of an era in what is considered to be the world’s most iconic sports brand.

Knight, who sold his first pair of sneakers out of the back of his car, had a huge hand in transforming the brand into what it is today. His influence, not just on the brand but on the shoe industry in general, is best expressed through the shocking statistical transformations throughout his career:

$35 swoosh logo to $86.2 billion market cap

Knight paid $35 in 1972 for the famous swoosh logo, a symbol now recognized worldwide. Nike boasted a market cap of $86.2 billion by the end of May of 2015.

4% to 98% imported footwear

In 1964, only 4 percent of U.S. footwear was imported, but 50 years later, that number was as high as 98 percent. Nike was at the forefront of international outsourcing, helping drive that figure up. Nike has been criticised for its labor practices around the world and was forced to set up auditing systems to try and enhance safety measures in its factories worldwide.

120 million pairs of shoes sold per year

Nike sold that 120 million pairs in 2012. That’s almost one pair of shoes for ever person in Mexico.

858 stores worldwide

Nike operates in 140 countries, with offices in 40. Pretty much wherever there are sports, there is a Nike presence.

$30,000 pair of sneakers

The brand knows how to appeal to hardcore sneakerheads. It has re-released the Air Jordan 11, for example, 40 times over nearly 20 years, according to FiveThirtyEight. Someone just bought a pair for $30,000 on eBay in April.

Read More:

How Phil Knight Turned The Nike Brand Into A Global Powerhouse (Quartz)
Adidas Vs. Nike: Who’s Winning The Hearts And Minds Of NBA Fans? (Vocativ)