Founded: 1964; 1978
The 1990s were not good to Nike’s image. “Just Do It” became anathema at the height of the globalization backlash, with protesters rallying against Nike’s use of sweatshops to produce its often expensive sneakers. Nike responded by hiring a corporate compliance team and external auditors to improve company image and eliminate its worst offenses.
“At first, we couldn't be establishment, because we didn't have any money,”
Knight said. “We were guerrilla marketers, and we still are, a little bit. But, as we became No. 1 in our industry, we've had to modify our culture and become a bit more planned.”