Sep 8, 2012, 11:08 AM EDT
Nike co-founder Phil Knight began building his brand by selling shoes out of the trunk of his car and, now, is one of the country’s wealthiest men and the architect of a dominant basketball empire.
For his work, he was recognized Friday night when he was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Introduced by former NBA star Michael Jordan, one of the first to sign on to endorse the Nike brand, Knight spoke about Jordan’s importance to the growth of his business.
“His magic made him a brand,” Knight said at the podium. “He is to the sporting goods industry what Nathan Hale, Patrick Henry, Che Guevara and Mao Tse Tung were to world politics.”
Just how pervasive is the iconic Nike swoosh? According to Bloomberg, Nike owns 95% of the market share in basketball shoes, dwarfing competitors like adidas, Reebok, and Under Armour.
In contemporary amateur basketball, Nike’s EYBL tournament is the most recognizable group of events on the summer AAU circuit, culminating in the Nike Peach Jam during the live recruiting period in July.
In college basketball, flagship schools like Kentucky, Michigan State, Duke, North Carolina, and Connecticut are branded with Nike’s logo and carry the brand at that level.
It was announced in mid-August that 16 Nike teams will host a tournament in November 2017 to honor Knight’s 80th birthday.
Among the participants are all of those schools listed above, as well as Florida, Ohio State, Butler, Gonzaga, Stanford, Texas, Oklahoma, Portland, Oregon, Xavier, and Georgetown.
According to Forbes magazine, Knight’s net worth is estimated at $14.4 billion.
- Green Bay will retain head coach Brian Wardle 1
- Coach K: ACC will be ‘best conference in the history of the game’ 4
- Bringing in ex-Gator Cody Larson worth the risk South Dakota State 0
- FBI: San Diego point-shaving scandal netted ‘more than $120,000′ 3
- Pressure mounting on Texas head coach Rick Barnes? 0
- Report: Baylor coach told Griner not to talk about her sexuality (14)
- Report: Kevin Stallings blocks Sheldon Jeter’s transfer to Pitt (5)
- Kentucky phenoms choose 2013-14 preparation over other possibilities (4)
- Coach K: ACC will be ‘best conference in the history of the game’ (4)
- Duke signee Semi Ojeleye named Parade Magazine Player of the Year (3)
- Pacers even series with Heat
- Penguins bounce Senators | Highlights
- MST: Rosberg wins third straight pole in Monaco
- Tennis.com: Can anyone stop Serena at French?
- Tennis.com: Is French still Nadal's to lose?
- Tigers' Sanchez loses no-hitter in 9th vs. Twins
- PST: Report: Openly gay Rogers to play for Galaxy