I'm sitting in my room on maui - just finished reading the story of Nike.
I cried reading this stuff. they took risks like you wouldn't believe - where was this company when I was looking for somewhere to work...

perhaps the book's idyllic portrait is not of a reality that ever existed but no matter.
For better or worse they took product endorsement to a higher level and practically invented what the book calls "whispering softly" - advertising by implication as opposed to forcing pictures of the latest Chevy Camaro down people's throats.
Regarding the very first Nike print ad ever,

The ad didn't show a shoe. It didn't need to. It didn't need to show a shoe....these guys sell shoes...this is how you build a brand - now how many companies dare to start their brand awareness in this manner ?

As for their views on management - well they didn't know much so they just winged it.

It's better to seek forgiveness than to beg permission. or to put it another way just do it.

When Nike Air needed to be launched but all the market research was against it Rob Strasser vocalised his view in defense of the new line of shoes.
Fuck the world. Fuck the numbers. Air feels right. Air feels like Nike. did they just get lucky ?

or perhaps the better question - can we do it all again ?