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Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike


“Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike” by Phil Knight is a memoir that tells the story of how Phil Knight and his team built Nike from the ground up. The book is an inspiring and engaging read that offers valuable insights into the world of entrepreneurship, sports, and branding.

Writing Style

Phil Knight’s writing style is engaging and conversational. He writes in a way that makes you feel like you’re right there with him on the journey. His anecdotes are funny and relatable, and he is not afraid to share his vulnerabilities and failures.


One of the strengths of the book is the characters. Phil Knight’s team is made up of some very interesting and colourful characters, from his co-founder Bill Bowerman to his early sales rep Jeff Johnson. Knight does an excellent job of bringing these characters to life, and we get to see how they each played a role in Nike’s success.


One of the major themes of the book is perseverance. Phil Knight and his team faced numerous setbacks and challenges, from manufacturing defects to financial difficulties. But they never gave up, and their determination ultimately paid off. Another theme is risk-taking. Knight and his team took some big risks along the way, from signing athlete endorsements to investing heavily in manufacturing. These risks were not always successful, but they ultimately paid off.

Adapting to Change

One of the most interesting aspects of the book is the way that Knight and his team adapted to changing market conditions. Nike started out as a distributor of Japanese running shoes, but as the market evolved, they shifted their focus to creating their own products and building a brand around them. This willingness to adapt and change was a key factor in Nike’s success.

Insights into Business

“Shoe Dog” also offers valuable insights into the challenges of starting and growing a business. Knight is refreshingly honest about his mistakes and missteps along the way, and he offers valuable lessons on everything from supply chain management to marketing strategy.

Interactions with Sports and Business Leaders

Another highlight of the book is Knight’s account of his interactions with some of the biggest names in sports and business. We see how Knight and his team signed endorsement deals with athletes like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods and worked with business leaders like Steve Jobs and Phil Jackson to grow the Nike brand.


In conclusion, “Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike” is a must-read for anyone interested in entrepreneurship or sports business. It is an engaging and inspiring read that will leave you with a new appreciation for the hard work and dedication it takes to build a successful brand. Phil Knight’s writing style is conversational and engaging, and his anecdotes are both funny and relatable. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good memoir or insight into the world of sports and business.

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