NEW YORK, October 5, 2015—Phil Knight, the legendary co-founder of NIKE, Inc., will publish his first-ever memoir with Scribner and Simon & Schuster U.K. The yet-to-be-titled book, which will focus on the founding years of Nike, is scheduled for worldwide publication in spring 2016. An audio edition will be released simultaneously by Simon & Schuster Audio.
In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and created a company with a simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the trunk of his Plymouth, Knight grossed $8,000 his first year. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In an age of startups, Nike is the ne plus ultra of all startups, and the swoosh has become a revolutionary, globe-spanning icon, one of the most ubiquitous and recognizable symbols in the world today.
But Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always remained a mystery. Now, for the first time, he tells his story. Candid, humble, gutsy, and wry, he begins with his crossroads moment. At 24, after backpacking around the world, he decided to take the unconventional path, to start his own business—a business that would be dynamic, different. Knight details the many risks and daunting setbacks that stood between him and his dream—along with his early triumphs. Above all, he recalls the formative relationships with his first partners and employees, a ragtag group of misfits and seekers who soon became a tight-knit band of brothers. Together, harnessing the transcendent power of a shared mission, and a deep belief in the spirit of sport, they built a brand that changed everything. (continued)
“Phil Knight is a titan of industry for our time, the man behind one of the most successful global companies ever, whose pioneering products for decades have inspired and enabled world class and amateur athletes alike to reach peak performance, and that unite form, function, and fashion in a way that many have copied, but no others have achieved,” said Carolyn Reidy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Simon & Schuster, Inc. “There is much that we can learn from Phil Knight and his story, and we are honored and fortunate to help him share it with the world.”
“This is a classic American story about an innovator with astonishing vision, unflinching resolve, and unbelievable luck,” said Shannon Welch, Senior Editor at Scribner, who will edit the book. “Phil Knight is an open, vivid, and searching storyteller with an unexpected and riveting story to tell. His memoir is rich with insight, humor, and hard-won wisdom.”
The book is also studded with lessons—about building something from scratch, about overcoming adversity, about fending off the naysayers and ultimately leaving your mark on the world. It’s a book about sports, but also a book about business, and the winor-go-home ethos of both worlds. Above all, it’s a book about friendship and working together to achieve common goals. It will appeal to a wide audience—maybe even to everyone who wears Nikes.
One of the world’s most influential business executives, Phil Knight is a cofounder of NIKE, Inc. He served as CEO of the company from 1964 to 2004 and continues to this day as Board Chairman.
Shannon Welch and Nan Graham, Senior Vice President and Publisher of Scribner, acquired world and audio rights from Washington, D.C., attorney Robert B. Barnett.
Scribner is an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., a part of CBS Corporation. Simon & Schuster is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats. Its divisions include Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Digital, and international companies in Australia, Canada, India and the United Kingdom. For more information visit our website at www.simonandschuster.com.
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Contact: Brian Belfiglio
V.P., Director of Publicity