Nike shoes make the [sneaker] world go 'round. The company's mission statement is simple: "To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world." The aforementioned statement could read as divisive if that was the full messaging. However, the most profound section of Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman’s mission (the other co-founder being Phil Knight) is actually what follows: "If you have a body, you are an athlete." Here lies a classic case of words manifesting into a reality – a pledge to create a community centered around product in a way that’s both encouraging and totally inclusive. Nike, officially founded in 1971 in Beaverton, Oregon, has transcended culture in every imaginable since then. Its name is synonymous with sports. Period. The footwear, equipment, and apparel created by the company since its inception can be best described as innovative and trendsetting. And that’s without mentioning Nike’s greatest asset: their ability to tell a story through their products. The quality of goods bearing the iconic Swoosh branding catch your eye; the narrative around them pique and keep your interests. Nike developed this aspect of the business in the 1980s, during which staple models like the Air Force 1, Air Max 1, Dunk, Air Trainer 1, and Windrunner released. Concurrently, Nike delivered the signature line of a basketball player named Michael Jordan in 1985, helmed by designer Tinker Hatfield. Needless to say that these power moves quelled all comparisons with competitors looking to close the gap. Steamrolling into the ‘90s, Nike found innovative ways to advertise why they were the best at show – a tactic that remains essential to their continuous success – while expanding their product line tenfold. The addition of luminaries across a myriad of sports helped as well. Fast-forward to the present, and the brand still rests comfortably atop of the totem pole. If there’s rules to this game, Nike – as stellar a provider of performance shoes and apparel as it manufactures lifestyle items – wrote the manual.