Basketball legend Michael Jordan was the face of Nike in the 1980s, and his Air Jordan shoe line helped grow the company into a global giant.
Nike started as Blue Ribbon Sports in the 1960s. The retail store distributed Onitsuka Tiger shoes, which are now known as Asics.
Blue Ribbon Sports was founded by Bill Bowerman, track-and-field coach from the University of Oregon, and former Oregon track athlete Phil Knight. Here, Bowerman watches some of his athletes train. Knight is fourth from the right.
Bowerman, right, meets with runner Steve Prefontaine after a race in Eugene, Oregon, in June 1970. Prefontaine would later become the first track athlete to endorse Nike products.
This waffle iron was found in a trash heap nearly 40 years after it inspired Bowerman to create a new kind of sole for running shoes -- one that didn't have spikes but could still have grip.
Blue Ribbon Sports began making its own shoes, and it launched the Nike brand in the early 1970s. These are the first designs of Nike's trademark stripe, which is now known as the "swoosh." The "swoosh" was created in 1971 by Carolyn Davidson, a graphic design student from Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. Knight had been teaching an accounting class there on the side, and he paid Davidson $35 for her work. Years later she was also given stock in the company.
The Nike "Moon Shoe," with its waffle sole designed by Bowerman, was Blue Ribbon Sports' first major design innovation when it debuted at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in 1972. It was nicknamed the "Moon Shoe" because it left craters in the dirt.
In 1972, Romanian tennis star Ilie Nastase was the first major athlete to sign an endorsement deal for Nike shoes. The name "Nike" comes from the Greek goddess of victory.
Nike debuted its signature "Just Do It" slogan in 1988.
Knight poses for a photo in March 1994. He was Nike's chairman and CEO.
Formula One champion Michael Schumacher presents his new Nike racing shoe in Cologne, Germany, in January 1996. Throughout its history, Nike has signed endorsement deals with some of the biggest names in sports, including Schumacher, Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and LeBron James.
U.S. sprinter Michael Johnson wears gold Nike shoes at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Johnson was one of the major stars of the Olympics, winning the 200 meters and the 400 meters in record time.
Ibrahim Hooper, communications director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, gestures during a June 1997 news conference with samples of Nike shoes in the foreground. Hooper's group said the "Air" symbol resembled "Allah" in Arabic, and the shoes were recalled. Nike apologized to Muslims for any unintentional offense.
In addition to individual athletes, Nike has signed apparel deals with major sports teams across the world, including London soccer club Arsenal.
Olympic decathlete Ashton Eaton, left, and pro football player Victor Cruz speak at a Nike event in New York in October 2013. Nike was introducing its FuelBand activity tracker, continuing to expand its business past more than shoes. The company also makes equipment for just about every sport.
NikeTown in London is the company's largest store. It reopened in 2014 with four floors of merchandise.
Nike's come a long way since its first track shoes. Here is one of its new soccer cleats launched in New York for the 2014 World Cup.