An art student received a small amount of money from Nike for the iconic swoosh logo
Nike founder Phil Knight has received a lot of praise online despite admitting to buying the Nike swoosh logo from a college student for a pittance.
Knight, who founded the company alongside Bill Bowerman, has since revealed how the company bought his iconic brand on the cheap, but the story had a “happy ending”.
He continued, “He was a graphic arts student at Portland State who needed the money.
“And we said, we’ll pay you $2 an hour to practice. You know, to get some drawings. And she spent 17 1/2 hours on that.”
However, fear not, because the student – Carolyn Davidson – did not get scammed.
The founder explained how when Nike went public they gave Davidson “500 shares”.
“She didn’t sell a single stock. And it’s worth over a million dollars now,” Knight added.
TikTokers flocked to the clip to applaud Knight for further recognizing Davidson’s contribution to society.
“The fact that he gave her shares later as a thank you is so wholesome,” one user said.
Another wrote, “That’s why he’s successful! He recognized her after her success.”
A third commented: “It’s really amazing that they have so much action! Wow. It’s pretty awesome because they didn’t need to do that.”
She received 500 shares in the IPO which she never sold. Between dividend income and the value of those stocks, it’s now hit a high 7 digits.
— Ludovic Vuillier (@LudovicVuillier) September 25, 2022
Despite the popularity of the Davidson-designed “Swoosh” logo—many developments of the logo having not deviated from the original design—on seeing the design for the first time, Knight wasn’t the biggest fan.
At the time, he said, “Well, I don’t like it, but maybe it will grow on me.”
And indeed, the brand has not only grown on him, but also on the rest of the world, as Nike has become the world’s “leading manufacturer, marketer and distributor of sporting goods”.
Davidson received the 500 stock shares in 1983. She received a call from Bob Woodell – one of Knight’s first recruits at Nike – who invited her to lunch.
The lunch turned into a surprise party for Davidson at the Nike offices in Washington County.
In addition to her 500 shares, the graphic designer received a framed certificate signed by Woodell and Knight, acknowledging her role as creator of the brand’s logo.
Davidson also received a gold “Swoosh” ring with a diamond on it.