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Swoosh: Unauthorized Story of Nike and the Men Who Played There, The
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 1999
Nike's story is one of the most fascinating in business, especially for those of us that grew up in Nike's prime. The authors did an incredible job of storytelling, starting with a young Phil Knight and his MBA thesis all the way to the early 90's... Lots of inside "dirt" but hardly a gossipy work. You will be amazed at the inner workings of this company.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2007
This is one of the best marketing books I know of. Written by a marketing pro (and wife of Nike`s first marketing head Rob Strasser) the reader is shown the inner workings of one of the premiere marketing driven corporations of the western world.

This is not the story told by some outsider, who collected his informations from interviews with present and former managers, wrote the book under the dictate of some format guidelines from his publisher (not over 300 pages etc.) who then turned to another project.

My belief is, that J.B.Strasser put her very heart into this book to commemorate the work and achievements of her deceased husband and his work mates at Nike. So she shares with the reader the key facts and episodes, which made Nike successful.

As a marketing pro she also presents a rich picture about those key episodes and actions, which propelled Nike to success.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The test of a great book is what you remember most about it years after completing it. "Swoosh.." was an exhaustive study (In depth and breadth) of one of the biggest brands in business history. In reflection, the most salient points were not how methodical Phil Knight and company were in triumphing over adversity, but how fortune favored their passion. In many instances, Knight isn't even in the picture. It's usually other people fuelling the passion for the brand. These individuals were not motivated by creating the behemoth that Nike bacame, but for the love of running (track and field). Like most empires, it would be a misnomer to characterize Nike as one man's dream being manifested. In this instance, it was truly a collective endeavor. The old saying about success being defined as "preparation meeting luck" takes on a whole new meaning in "Swoosh... ." In this instance, a more apt definition would be, "When passion meets opportunity plus risk equals success."

Also, "Swoosh..." is a product of its times when people believed in something bigger than themselves, not out of fear, but out of love. Business bookshelves are riddled with the latest in "New" leadership models. Nike wasn't built on Phil Knight's directing his core group to innovate athletic wear. These individuals latched on to an idea and took off on their own. Phil Knight isn't Apple's Steve jobs in "Swoosh... ." He's more like Jed Clampett of "The Beverly Hill Billies" who had to be more or less told he was sitting on a goldmine.

By and large, "Swoosh..." is a great book for business lovers and potential "Captains of Industry" interested in uncovering how big brands are created. It is a testament of how far "relevant" passion" can go.

Edward Brown
Core Edge Image & Charisma Institute
[....]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2006
Great Book! It really surpassed my expectations. A must read for everyone who wants to learn more of sports brands history! great inside stories too...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2010
This a must read book to understand what Philip Knight, Bill Bowerman and others started as BRS that morphed and grew to become Nike.

One consistent theme, is Phil Knight's lack of communication, which served as a "set-up" for many around him and served his ego by playing the Lone Ranger riding back into town and "saving" the day.

The founding member were able to laugh at themselves, and plot their growth for the future.

Many of the principles that BRS started are still being applied today, and Nike has figured out how to sell "cool" and they aren't afraid to push the envelope and strut all the way to the bank.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2012
This is a well written engrossing book. The storyline is fascinating and their are tons of good business idea's. The only flaw is that the author credits her husband (Strasser) with too much credit for forming the company and even credits him with "inventing" the phrase - just do it- riiiight, sure he did. NOT.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I graduated from Oregon in 1966 and spent my time in the Knight Library and quite unaware of the magic that was being created in Hayward Field. Then the Pre story,his death in 1975, and reading about the track program at Oregon from San Francisco, made me realize what I had missed at Oregon. Ron Bellamy, Eugene Register Guard, told me to read SWOOSH and I am reliving my Oregon years through his brilliant recommendation.

SWOOSH is a great primer for students who want to be in sports management, marketing and sales and who can take their energy and youth to create a company like NIKE.

What a great read! The history of Phil Knight and the incredible men and women he brought into his company to make NIKE the firm which it is today.

"Deja Oregon" is what I feel through SWOOSH,and I look at the tremendous Oregon Track and Field Program of today at The University of Oregon, and I can hear the voice of Bill Bowerman as track men and women SWOOSH through Hayward Field. Go Ducks!
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on March 13, 2014
Enjoyed reading this as it takes you from the inception of the company through early 1991. The chaos within the company very possibly lead to some unnecessary problems but that might also have just been the magic that allowed this enterprise to survive what anyone would consider formidable odds. As an entrepreneur myself I enjoy these types of books primarily to see how these companies manage to get through the initial phases. So many people jump off because they are going to get into "something better" and it should serve as a lesson that a little hard work and sacrifice for the right project leads to much better results than job hopping. Without the loyalty of key people in these endeavors they would never make it. Knight himself is the key in the initial phases of the book but you also get the impression that as the company developed he laid a lot of responsibility on these key people and might be rightly accused of lacking in the same sort of loyalty in return. Worth the read anyway.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2008
every little tid bit you needed to know ( and some you wish you didn't) about the culture of NIKE. Great reading!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 1999
Work hard, play hard, live hard. The founders and early employees of Nike were driven by this philosophy and responded to the competitive nature of business as they had in the sports world. If you have an interest in athletic shoes, you should find it riveting.
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