The Meaning Behind Nike’s Swoosh Logo

The Nike swoosh logo seems so basic yet has a powerful message behind it. Why does this little logo have such a high impact on the world?

Nike Swoosh

There are a lot of hidden things you don’t know about this logo and their slogan, and that’s what I want to answer with this article.

Keep reading to discover the true meaning and why the founders still uses it to this day.

A little history lesson

The founders of Nike, Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, created the apparel footwear and athletic company in 1964 and named it Blue Ribbon Sports.

Bill Bowerman was a track-and-field coach and Phil Knight was his former student.

They opened their first retail outlet called Blue Ribbon Sports, and went public 2 years later.

And that’s when they changed the name to Nike, inspired by the Greek goddess of victory.

They chose the Nike swoosh as their official logo that we know and love today.

They are currently the top shoe company in the world and have held that title for many years.

So where does Mark Parker come in?

Contrary to popular belief, some people think Mark Parker is the founder.

He serves as the executive chairman of Nike (CEO) and that’s why you will often see his name when someone talks about Nike.

But don’t mistake him for the founder because he definitely isn’t.

Now to the “swoosh”

So what is the meaning behind this swoosh logo?

Well it’s simple really.

As you know already, the brand name is inspired by the Greek goddess of victory.

It’s only right that they have a logo that symbolizes just that.

The swoosh symbolizes the sound of speed, movement, power, and motivation.

It is not a check mark.

A check has a hard angle between the two straight lines, whereas the swoosh has a curve.

It’s a powerful logo when you know the meaning behind it.

You have motivation, speed, movement and power to keep moving forward and make your dreams a reality.

Nike (the Greek goddess) influenced countless brave warriors to go into battle and win.

So basically, Nike swoosh symbolizes that when you go to battle, you go to win, no matter what, no matter the circumstances, no matter the setbacks.

Everything you do in life is all about winning!

And that’s why the logo is so simple and powerful at the same time.

There is a lot of other deeper stories that you might be interested in reading.

One interesting fact is that Blue Ribbon Sports only had a few days to come up with a name and logo because they put an order in for 3000 shoes, but did not have an official name and logo.

The company and their team quickly settled with the Greek goddess of victory.

You can read more about that here

Fortunately it paid off in dividends as they are now the biggest shoe company in the world.

Fun fact: The logo itself is worth $26 billion dollars. Not the company, not the products, just the logo itself!

Why is it pronounced Nai-key, and not Naik?

Like, bike, Mike, these are pronounced the same way, so why don’t we pronounce Nike the exact same way?

Well it turns out, the winged goddess of victory is pronounced Nai-key.

That’s why we use the same pronunciation for the shoe company.

When does “Just Do It” come in?

Just do it is one of Nike’s official slogans.

Nike launched a campaign in 1988 called “Just Do It”, and has a weird meaning behind it.

These words are inspired by a notorious killer in the 1970s from Utah.

The murderer named Gary Gilmore was sentenced to death. He sat there, strapped to a chair with sandbags behind him to stop the bullets.

The policemen asked if he had any last words before he died.

Those words were “Let’s do it”.

And that’s where Nike’s “Just Do It” came from – the last words of a murderer.

How does that tie in with athletes?

Basically, it’s a motivation tactic.

Just like the logo, the slogan is just as powerful.

Those 3 words are to motivate someone trying to get in shape, or to world-class athletes about to win a gold medal.

In resonates with everyone who need that little motivation boost.

Wrapping up

Well that finishes up this article about Nike swoosh and I hope I have cleared some things up for you.

In summary:

  • Swoosh is inspired by the Greek goddess of victory
  • Swoosh symbolizes speed and motion
  • The swoosh is not a check mark because it has a curve
  • We say nai-key because of the Greek goddess
  • Just Do It is inspired by the last words of a murderer (but of course Nike doesn’t want everyone to know that!)

Well thanks for reading,

I hope you learned a lot about Nike and some of their hidden meanings.

Please share this article with your friends and family, or leave a comment down below and I will reply as soon as I can.


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