What is the untold story of Nike?


The untold story of Nike includes several lesser-known and controversial aspects that contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the brand's history.

  1. Humanizing Legends: There's the exposure of Nike's iconic figures, who were once revered but also had their flaws. , a journalist, provides insight into figures like Bill Dellinger, showing a side of personal misbehavior and contrast with their public personas. Hart's experience at Dellinger's house, witnessing unexpected behavior, shatters the myth of flawless Nike heroes. His narratives provide a grittier outlook on figures previously held in high regard 1.

  2. Early Days Sales Strategy: Another intriguing aspect is the story of how Nike's first 30,000 shoes were sold through personal interactions and connections, a strategy recalled by . Jeff Johnson, the first employee of Nike, played a crucial role in these initial sales, driving to track meets with a car filled with shoes, engaging directly with athletes, and fostering relationships that advanced the brand 2.

  3. Corruption and Controversies: There is also the darker side involving corruption within Nike, as investigated by . The revelations include dubious practices like drug offers to athletes, pointing to a corrupting influence of business on sports. This aspect is highlighted through interviews and examples of practices that not only pushed the boundaries of ethics but also legality in sports 3.

    Unmasking Nike's Legends

    Matt Hart and Chris Douglas discuss the revealing side of Nike's legendary figures, exposing their flaws and humanizing their stories. From Bill Dellinger's unexpected behavior to Bill Bauerman's questionable actions, the podcast sheds light on the fallibility of these revered individuals.

    The Morning Shakeout

    Episode 134 | Matt Hart
  4. Whistleblower Incidents: The whistleblower incidents related to the Nike Oregon Project reveal another layer of ethical issues. , an exercise physiologist and coach, reported witnessing dubious practices during his time as an assistant coach, which eventually led to the banning of certain personnel 4.

These narratives reveal a more complex image of Nike, illustrating both the inspiring rise of a global brand and the ethical challenges and human flaws that accompanied its growth.