CEO / Executive Creative Director
Bill Bowerman founded Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964 with a former student by the name of Phil Knight. A track-and-field coach at the University of Oregon, Bowerman opened Blue Ribbon’s first retail outlet in 1966. It took another six years for Bowerman and Knight to launch the first pair of Nike’s. Blue Ribbon finally rebranded as Nike in 1978. Two years later, the company went public.
It’s easy to forget that one of the most iconic brands in footwear and apparel was a slow burn. And that the blood, sweat, tears, and sheer intelligence (waffle irons! who knew?) would eventually change everything. “Just Do It” (Walt Stack) to “I Am Not A Role Model” (Charles Barkley) to “Dream Crazy” (Colin Kaepernick and USA Women’s Soccer), Nike has played the long game on branding. And that has helped the company rise from a pair of scrappy, innovative cobblers to bonafide cultural change agents.
My 11+ years as a Creative Lead at Nike has undoubtedly shaped Watson Creative into the studio that it is today. But our relentless pursuit of evolution will define our future. After all, as Bowerman once put it, “The real purpose of running isn’t to win a race, it’s to test the limits of the human heart.”