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Grawn Hall

Meet the guy who named Nike

Athletic brand pioneer to speak Thursday at Grawn

Contact: ​Jeff Johnston

Want to know how a few college-age believers turned a business school presentation into one of the most powerful brands of all time? Ask one of the guys who built Nike — yes, that Nike.

Jeff Johnson, the first full-time employee of Nike Inc., will visit Central Michigan University on Thursday, Sept. 7, to share lessons learned.

Not only did Johnson work at Nike before it was called Nike, he came up with the name (borrowed from the Greek goddess of victory). He also helped develop Nike’s first line of running shoes, modeled them in ads and sold them out of the trunk of his car at track meets.

Since retiring from Nike at age 41, Johnson has helped create the Nike Farm Team and has coached young runners.

Johnson will appear from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the Grawn Hall Atrium. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

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