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  • Nike, Inc.

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    Nike Factory Store in WisconsinNike, Inc. () is an American multinational corporation that is engaged in the design, development, manufacturing, and worldwide marketing and sales of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories, and services. The company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, in the Portland metropolitan area. It is the world's largest supplier of athletic shoes and apparel and a major manufacturer of sports equipment, with revenue in excess of US$24.1 billion in its fiscal year 2012 (ending May 31, 2012). As of 2012, it employed more than 44,000 people worldwide. In 2014 the brand alone was valued at $19 billion, making it the most valuable brand among sports businesses. As of 2017, the Nike brand is valued at $29.6 billion. Nike ranked No. 89 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue. The company was founded on January 25, 1964, as Blue Ribbon Sports, by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, and officially became Nike, Inc. on May 30, 1971. The company takes its name from Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. Nike markets its products under its own brand, as well as Nike Golf, Nike Pro, Nike+, Air Jordan, Nike Blazers, Air Force 1, Nike Dunk, Air Max, Foamposite, Nike Skateboarding, Nike CR7, and subsidiaries including Brand Jordan, Hurley International and Converse. Nike also owned Bauer Hockey (later renamed Nike Bauer) from 1995 to 2008, and previously owned Cole Haan and Umbro. In addition to manufacturing sportswear and equipment, the company operates retail stores under the Niketown name. Nike sponsors many high-profile athletes and sports teams around the world, with the highly recognized trademarks of "Just Do It" and the Swoosh logo.

  • Sneaker collecting

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    A sneakerhead is a person who collects, trades, or admires sneakers as a hobby. A sneakerhead may also be highly experienced in distinguishing between real and replica sneakers. Sneaker collecting is a hobby often manifested by the use and collection of shoes made for particular sports, particularly basketball and skateboarding. The birth of sneakerhead culture in the United States came in the 1980s and can be attributed to two major sources: basketball, specifically the emergence of Michael Jordan and his eponymous Air Jordan line of shoes released in 1985, and the growth of hip hop music. The boom of signature basketball shoes during this era provided the sheer variety necessary for a collecting subculture, while the hip-hop movement gave the sneakers their street credibility as status symbols. The sneakerhead culture has emerged in the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic in the last decade.

  • Converse (shoe company)

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    A red pair of Converse Chuck Taylor All-StarsConverse is an American shoe company that primarily produces skating shoes and lifestyle brand footwear and apparel. Founded in 1908, it has been a subsidiary of Nike, Inc. since 2003. During World War II, the company shifted its manufacturing from the public, and instead made footwear for the military. It was one of the few producers of athletic shoes and for over a half century the company dominated the American court shoe market. From the 1970s, the company lost its dominant position after other companies presented their own styles. Converse shoes are distinguished by a number of features, including the company's star insignia, the All Star's rubber sole, smooth rounded toe, and wrap-around strip. Converse manufactures its products under the Cons, Chuck Taylor All-Star, John Varvatos, and Jack Purcell trade names. In addition to apparel and footwear, the company sells other items through retailers in over 160 countries and through approximately 75 company-owned retail stores across the United States, and employed 2,658 in the U.S. in 2015.

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