The complexities of building a business – and a brand – from scratch are well documented in the brilliantly written Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight. Considered one of the most successful brands of our times, Nike – ironically – was not built on branding or advertising. Knight, an accountant by training, openly admits that he wasn’t a proponent of branding or advertising. Instead the business was founded on a relentless focus on sales. Shoe Dog is a memoir of what it takes to build a company and the personal sacrifice, uncertainty, precarious financial footing, external threats and big decisions that had to be taken in the years before Nike achieved financial security. When Knight launched Blue Ribbon – the precursor to Nike – in 1965, running certainly wasn’t the craze it was to become. It wasn’t even a sport, says Knight, it just “was”. “Running for pleasure, running for exercise, running for endorphins, running to live better and longer – these things were...

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