35 Splendid Phil Knight Quotes

Phil Knight is an American business magnate and philanthropist. The co-founder and chairman of Nike, Inc., Knight is the 15th richest person of the world with an estimated net worth of $28.1 billion. Here is a look at some of the best Phil Knight quotes that are encouraging.

“A brand is something that has a clear-cut identity among consumers, which a company creates by sending out a clear, consistent message over a period of years until it achieves a critical mass of marketing.”

“Access to play should be a kid’s inalienable right.”

“Dare to take chances, lest you leave your talent buried in the ground.”

“Dream audaciously. Have the courage to fail forward. Act with urgency.”

“I am a man who has always needed heroes.”

“I don’t consider myself enigmatic, but I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about my public persona.”


“I still get real nervous when I go in front of more than two people.”

“I truly believe the American consumer doesn’t want to buy products made under abusive conditions.”

“I’m in the shoe business. Look at these things. They’re called Tigers. I faked out the company. I’m the US distributor. Come with me.”

“I’ve always believed that businesses should be good citizens…”

“If you want to spend time saying this is cool, you’re going to get your ass kicked.”

“In periods of stress and grief, not only does your mind do funny things, you say things that surprise you.”

“It doesn’t matter how many people you offend, as long as you’re getting your message to your consumers. I say to those people who do not want to offend anybody: You are going to have a very, very difficult time having meaningful advertising.”

“It is possible to tell a customer “no”, and have the customer thank you for doing it.”

“It’s alright to be Goliath but always act like David.”

“It’s not enough to do good things. You have to let people know what you’re doing.”

“Make history or be a part of it.”

“Marketing knits the whole organization together.”

“Meeting sports athletes that are the best in the world is a thrill to this day.”

“My job is to listen to ideas, maybe cook up a few of my own, and make decisions based on what’s good for the shareholders and for the company.”

“Now we understand that the most important thing we do is market the product. We’ve come around to saying that Nike is a marketing-oriented company, and the product is our most important marketing tool.”

“Play by the rules, but be ferocious.”

“Sports is like rock ‘n’ roll. Both are dominant cultural forces, both speak an international language, and both are all about emotions.”

“The trouble in America is not that we are making too many mistakes, but that we are making too few.”

“The way to stay ahead was through product innovation. We happened to be great at it.”

“There comes a time in every life when the past recedes and the future opens. It’s that moment when you turn to face the unknown. Some will turn back to what they already know. Some will walk straight ahead into uncertainty. I can’t tell you which one is right. But I can tell you which one is more fun.”

“There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”

“There is no shoe school, so where do you recruit people for a company that develops and markets running shoes? The running track… We and the consumer were one and the same.”

“Up until the time I was 14 years old, I was sure that I was going to be a big-league baseball player. But that dream came to a rude awakening when I got cut from my high school baseball team.”

“We have to innovate for a specific reason, and that reason comes from the market. Otherwise, we’ll end up making museum pieces.”

“We used to think that everything started in the lab. Now we realize that everything spins off the consumer.”

“We wanted Nike to be the world’s best sports and fitness company. Once you say that, you have a focus. You don’t end up making wing tips or sponsoring the next Rolling Stones world tour.”

“While technology is still important, the consumer has to lead innovation.”

“You can’t explain much in 60 seconds, but when you show Michael Jordan, you don’t have to. It’s that simple.”

“You only have to succeed the last time.”

Here is one talk at the Stanford Graduate School of Business given by Phil Knight at the 89th Commencement Ceremony.