Don’s book on Nike, “Just Do It,” offers an inside look at what was the most powerful force in sports, its reclusive, irreverent founder, Phil Knight, and the special rituals and practices that projected the Nike brand into the world.
Here’s Don’s introduction to the book:
The book, performed by the talented actor Brian Sutherland, is available for download here.
Along the Nike trail I met line workers gluing shoes together in one of the thousands of factories rising from the dust by the week in Southern China. I spent time with inner-city retailers in Newark, N.J., mall store proprietors in California, and retailers in running stores all over the country. I met hundreds of Nike customers who regard stores bearing Nikes as museums or churches. I talked basketball, baseball, and tennis with various Nike sports heroes—Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, Charles Barkley, Andre Agassi, and Alonzo Mourning were all particularly helpful—and I got to know a great many Nike employees, most of whom, at first, thought I would never “get it,” because they thought others who’d tried to describe Nike’s separate way of life had failed.
After many months of observation and travel, I came to see that Nike is at once a state of mind and an intricate network connecting far-flung economic nodes.