A Greek would say, "When we go to battle and win, we say it is Nike." According to Greek Mythology, The Nike was the winged goddess of victory. Daughter of the titan Pallas and the river Styx, Nike sat at the side of the omnipotent Zeus for the duration of his plight with the titans. The goddess Nike came to be an everlasting symbol of victory and dominance on the battlefields of ancient Greece. In light of her conquests, a popular footwear company of the 20th century designed products in her name to push new levels of achievement in athletes worldwide. The Swoosh logo at the side of each shoe is intended to represent the wing of the Greek Goddess Nike. The vibrant spirit of this ancient goddess has bridged the gap between ancient mythology and modern technology, and manifested itself through the most successful shoe company of all time.
The Nike of Samothrace captures the essence of the goddess in a dramatic pose. Her body leans forward as her robust wings heave upwards, creating a magnificent balance and sense of motion. Recovered in the Sanctuary of the Great Gods by a French explorer in 1863, the statue stands 8 feet tall. The deep lines and contrasting textures of the feathers, fabric, and skin allude to the elegance of past Greek style. Of all similar remains from ancient Greek art, this famous Hellenistic sculpture best reflects the sense of pride, honor, and victory associated with the goddess.
The Swoosh logo was created by Caroline Davidson in 1971. Davidson was asked by Phil Knight, co-founder of Nike, to create a logo that could be placed on the side of the shoe. She gave him the Swoosh, and he in return gave her $35.00. When the Swoosh is inverted and placed next to the wing of The Nike of Samothorace, one can see the correlation. This logo was designed to embody the spirit of the Nike in a simple but effective form. The first shoe with the Nike Swoosh was introduced in 1972, and with it an ancient flame was rekindled. This started what would become the most popular and well known brand name in the history of the shoe industry, and did justice to the ancient goddess of victory for which it stands.
The association with this Greek goddess went much deeper. The Greeks inspired athleticism and personal prowess by shifting political confrontation to physical competition. The Greeks gathered an assembly of top athletes around the world, in a competition we now know as the Olympic games. During the Greek times, athletes gathered on sacred land, namely the Sanctuary of Zeus and Hera near Olympia, Greece, to celebrate and pay homage to their supreme god. To attain victory in these games was a matter of great prestige. The Swoosh was designed to not only embody the wing of Nike and symbolize personal victory, but also to celebrate the spirit and inspiration of the entire Greek civilization and its competitive...