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Swoosh: Unauthorized Story of Nike and the Men Who Played There, The Paperback – Apr 28 1993

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; HarperBusiness ed edition (April 28 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887306225
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887306228
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 3.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Library Journal

This is the incredible story of how Phil Knight, with literally no financial backing, founded a small shoe company, Blue Ribbon Sports, which within one year became a billion-dollar company, today known as Nike. Strasser, Nike's first advertising manager, and Becklund, a Los Angeles Times writer, describe the six men who, along with Knight, made Nike the most successful sporting apparel company in U.S. history. The authors take us through the hurdles that the company encountered along the way to success, including unappealing advertisements, problems with Japanese suppliers, lawsuits, credit difficulties, quota and tariff problems, and the tough competitor, Adidas. They also outline in detail Nike's interesting and creative promotional methods from freebees for athletic teams to expensive celebrity endorsements. The book is unique in that it not only gives historical information but also delves into the thoughts of those who built Nike from an idea. Recommended for public and academic libraries.
- Teresa Brady, Holy Family Coll., Philadelphia
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

An unusually entertaining and informative corporate history that traces the rise, fall, and recovery of NIKE Inc., the world- class supplier of athletic shoes and casual clothing. Though the authors had no cooperation from either the company or its enigmatic founder, Philip H. Knight, they offer an authoritative, unsparing account of how a fledgling firm whose first sales reps sold sneakers from car trunks at track meets became a pace-setting multinational. Strasser, NIKE's first advertising manager, married a lawyer who, until his 1987 resignation, was one of the boss's closest cronies; Becklund, Strasser's sister, is a staff writer at The Los Angeles Times. Drawing on inside information and interviews as well as archival material, they recount how Knight, a long-distance runner at Oregon Univ., parlayed his Stanford MBA thesis into a lucrative global business venture that caught the crest of the stateside booms in jogging and fitness, generating annual revenues exceeding $3 billion. Along the way, Knight recruited a ragtag crew of blithe spirits who prized the Animal House camaraderie of the company's formative years. Having survived an unfortunate penchant for cutting corners, NIKE hit its stride during the 1970's, besting Adidas, Converse, Puma, et al. and permitting the company to go public in 1980. It found it difficult, however, to meet the expectations of investors and Wall Street analysts. In fact, management stumbled badly, missing the markets for aerobic and fashion footwear pioneered by archrival Reebok. Thanks in large measure to the prescient signing of such all-pro spokesmen as Michael Jordan and Bo Jackson, though, plus some innovative new products, NIKE bootstrapped its way back onto the fast track. But turnaround carried a price, since many of the freewheelers who had helped build the company jumped ship. The authors wonder whether an institutionalized NIKE can maintain its momentum, let alone meet the challenges of a fast-stepping marketplace. An engrossing narrative that evenhandedly assesses the making and maturation of a consequential enterprise. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought it would be a better book, but honestly I did not enjoy reading it. There was a lot of trash talk, and perhaps I was just disappointed in the way people were dealt with and lousy management style that Nike showed in it's development stage.
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Format: Paperback
Nike's story is one of the most fascinating in business, especially for those of us that grew up in Nike's prime. The authors did an incredible job of storytelling, starting with a young Phil Knight and his MBA thesis all the way to the early 90's... Lots of inside "dirt" but hardly a gossipy work. You will be amazed at the inner workings of this company.
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Format: Paperback
Work hard, play hard, live hard. The founders and early employees of Nike were driven by this philosophy and responded to the competitive nature of business as they had in the sports world. If you have an interest in athletic shoes, you should find it riveting.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa65c06fc) out of 5 stars 22 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f1d815c) out of 5 stars Incredibly Riveting Narrative May 26 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Nike's story is one of the most fascinating in business, especially for those of us that grew up in Nike's prime. The authors did an incredible job of storytelling, starting with a young Phil Knight and his MBA thesis all the way to the early 90's... Lots of inside "dirt" but hardly a gossipy work. You will be amazed at the inner workings of this company.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f1d85c4) out of 5 stars Nike's Rise Was Serendipitous Jan. 13 2009
By Edward S. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The test of a great book is what you remember most about it years after completing it. "Swoosh.." was an exhaustive study (In depth and breadth) of one of the biggest brands in business history. In reflection, the most salient points were not how methodical Phil Knight and company were in triumphing over adversity, but how fortune favored their passion. In many instances, Knight isn't even in the picture. It's usually other people fuelling the passion for the brand. These individuals were not motivated by creating the behemoth that Nike bacame, but for the love of running (track and field). Like most empires, it would be a misnomer to characterize Nike as one man's dream being manifested. In this instance, it was truly a collective endeavor. The old saying about success being defined as "preparation meeting luck" takes on a whole new meaning in "Swoosh... ." In this instance, a more apt definition would be, "When passion meets opportunity plus risk equals success."

Also, "Swoosh..." is a product of its times when people believed in something bigger than themselves, not out of fear, but out of love. Business bookshelves are riddled with the latest in "New" leadership models. Nike wasn't built on Phil Knight's directing his core group to innovate athletic wear. These individuals latched on to an idea and took off on their own. Phil Knight isn't Apple's Steve jobs in "Swoosh... ." He's more like Jed Clampett of "The Beverly Hill Billies" who had to be more or less told he was sitting on a goldmine.

By and large, "Swoosh..." is a great book for business lovers and potential "Captains of Industry" interested in uncovering how big brands are created. It is a testament of how far "relevant" passion" can go.

Edward Brown
Core Edge Image & Charisma Institute
[....]
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f1d85e8) out of 5 stars a true story of marketing success June 4 2007
By Knoebel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best marketing books I know of. Written by a marketing pro (and wife of Nike`s first marketing head Rob Strasser) the reader is shown the inner workings of one of the premiere marketing driven corporations of the western world.

This is not the story told by some outsider, who collected his informations from interviews with present and former managers, wrote the book under the dictate of some format guidelines from his publisher (not over 300 pages etc.) who then turned to another project.

My belief is, that J.B.Strasser put her very heart into this book to commemorate the work and achievements of her deceased husband and his work mates at Nike. So she shares with the reader the key facts and episodes, which made Nike successful.

As a marketing pro she also presents a rich picture about those key episodes and actions, which propelled Nike to success.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f1d8900) out of 5 stars Interesting March 13 2014
By Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Enjoyed reading this as it takes you from the inception of the company through early 1991. The chaos within the company very possibly lead to some unnecessary problems but that might also have just been the magic that allowed this enterprise to survive what anyone would consider formidable odds. As an entrepreneur myself I enjoy these types of books primarily to see how these companies manage to get through the initial phases. So many people jump off because they are going to get into "something better" and it should serve as a lesson that a little hard work and sacrifice for the right project leads to much better results than job hopping. Without the loyalty of key people in these endeavors they would never make it. Knight himself is the key in the initial phases of the book but you also get the impression that as the company developed he laid a lot of responsibility on these key people and might be rightly accused of lacking in the same sort of loyalty in return. Worth the read anyway.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f1d88ac) out of 5 stars Great Book!!! April 20 2006
By R. M. Castro - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Great Book! It really surpassed my expectations. A must read for everyone who wants to learn more of sports brands history! great inside stories too...


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