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The protagonist of Just Do It is Phil Knight, a reclusive billionaire who started a two-man operation importing Japanese running shoes and built it into a $4 billion company. Irreverent, unpredictable, and leery of the sports establishment, Knight created the most muscular jock culture in business, a place where employees routinely took two hours at lunch to work out and then strategized late into the night in their holy war against competitors Reebok and Adidas. To outsiders, Nike was a cult. Insiders believed they were furthering the company's mission: to improve the performance of serious athletes.

Not everyone could be a Nike guy. It required a certain attitude. For example: Michael Jordan refusing to wear Reebok at the 1992 Olympics, or Charles Barkley joking about becoming a porn star. In Just Do It, award-winning author Donald Katz shows how Nike created the spectacular imagery and marketing campaigns that made Jordan, Barkley, and Bo Jackson international icons. He also documented Nike's increasingly influential role in the management of its high-priced talent, taking us inside lucrative endorsement deals involving Jim Courier, Andre Agassi, Deion Sanders, Alonzo Mourning, and Pete Sampras as well as behind-closed-doors negotiations with the NBA and the NCAA as it considered a controversial plan for a collegiate Super Bowl brokered by Nike and super-agent Michael Ovitz.

Nike understood the power of imagery and knew how to market those images all over the world. A truly global corporation, Nike relied on capital from Japan to manufacture shoes in Asia sold to one out of every four athletic-shoe buyers in Europe. Katz follows Nike all over the world, taking us from a 19-year-old Korean gluing shoes in a factory, to an advertising wunderkind in Oregon creating the legendary "Bo Knows" campaign, to the fanatical Nike kids who rush into stores the day new shoes hit the street. Along the way, Katz describes the creation and design of Nike shoes, revealing technology worthy of a James Bond movie. He examines the charges leveled against Nike: that the company is exploiting Asian peasants, corrupting younger athletes, and recklessly stirring consumer fever in urban America. He also discusses the corporate spirit and strategies that have made Nike one of the great business stories of the late 20th century.

Just Do It is about the business of sports and the sport of business. It is also the story of a culture in which the sight of an athlete in flight can still evoke awe.

©1994 Donald Katz (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

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Disclaimer: Book Was Written in 1994

The information in this book regarding the start of Nike is great. Michael Jordan gets a lot of attention, so if you're a fan like me you'll really enjoy that. The issue comes from the fact that this book is 23 years old. They focus a lot of the book about what was going on in the early 90's as that was still fresh in the mind of people when it was written. Don't get stuck listening to it for 12 hours like me before realizing the age of the book. You can easily get all you info by listening to just the first half.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Mostly just a history of Nike

I picked up this book to add to my collection of business books but it doesn’t really fall into that. Rather than get into the business and how Nike is different other than the others it really is more of a corporate history. It goes a bit into the sports marketing and corporate culture but it primarily focuses on Nike’s history and major players from inception to 1994, so it’s not very enlightening from a business standpoint. In addition the author often jumps around from year to year rather than going chronologically so that he ends up repeating himself some times. If you like marketing or Nike this is probably a good book for you, otherwise you can probably skip it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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lengthy and detailed: business or pop-culture?

the author's command of language and use of grandiose words helps to illustrate the nuanced life of an entrepreneur who is inarguably the major factor in the development of sports as a business. even though this is ancient history for many , it is told here with lively detail and well chosen examples linked together by subject matter and not mundane chronology. Stunning insight into American entrepreneurship.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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surprisingly great read

while I didn't like the guys voice, the book was worth listening too. really liked it

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Awesome

I am impressed with the book and happy. Hope every one like the audible. Thank you.

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Nice

Good book. Must listen by every one. Thank you soo much ....... love it .

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Nice book

What a history... Nice book from Amazon, keep going....
Cool voice & history
Good.... Good...

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  • Tim
  • United States
  • 05-17-17

Ad Campaign

I would probably had bought this book despite getting it for free from Audible. I enjoy nonfiction and business topics. "Just Do It", Phil Knight's story on how he build the shoe company was interesting, but it also felt like a 14 hour ad campaign on their athletic wear. The constant endorsements from superstars, promoting their shoe product was a bit draining to listen to. Donald Katz has done a very poor job at explaining the business side of Nike. He didn't go in depth with the company. Just too much sports celebrities jumping on the bandwagon.

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Inside look at early 1990's Nike

Would you consider the audio edition of Just Do It to be better than the print version?

It's a perfect companion and follow up to Shoe Dog from Phil Knight

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Inside access to the growth of sports marketing in general and the Jordan brand in particular.

Any additional comments?

It's worth full price - and it's free!