Phil Knight Net Worth: 5 Facts You Should Know

Phil Knight

Phil Knight’s net worth is $25.6 billion.

Could you believe that the co-founder of Nike, the largest supplier of athletic shoes, had a journalism degree when he obtained his masters in business administration? You won’t believe how much he paid for the company’s iconic swoosh logo.

1. Phil Knight’s Net Worth Is $25.6 Billion

Phil Knight, who is the chairman and largest shareholder of Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE), the world’s biggest maker of athletic shoes and sports apparel, has a net worth of $25.6 billion. (Source: “The World’s Billionaires,” Forbes, last accessed March 8, 2016.)

However, his wealth is estimated at a slightly lower $25.2 billion on the Bloomberg Billionaire Index. (Source: “Today’s ranking of the world’s richest people,” Bloomberg, last accessed March 8, 2016.)

His ranking on the world’s richest list is in the range between the 24th and 26th places.

2. Phil Knight Has a Journalism Degree

Born in Portland, Oregon in 1938, Knight attended Cleveland High School then the University of Oregon, where he earned a journalism degree. (Source: “Phil Knight Net Worth,” Celebrity Net Worth, last accessed March 8, 2016; http://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-businessmen/ceos/phil-knight-net-worth/.)

He is son of lawyer-turned-newspaper publisher William W. Knight.

When he finished with his active duty in the military, Knight decided to go to the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he discovered his calling as an entrepreneur. (Source: Ibid.)

After finishing at Stanford with a masters in business administration, he traveled around the world. During his travels, he came across a company called Tiger Running Shoes.

Knight struck a deal with the owner of Tiger Running Shoes and began selling the products in the Western United States. (Source: Ibid.)

3. Phil Knight Sold Shoes Out of His Car

He founded Blue Ribbon sports in 1964, selling Japanese running shoes out of the trunk of his car at track meets on the weekends, while teaching accounting at Portland State. (Source: “Phil Knight Net Worth,” The Richest, last accessed March 8, 2016; http://www.therichest.com/celebnetworth/celebrity-business/men/phil-knight-net-worth/.) He renamed his company Nike after the Greek goddess of victory in 1971.

Over the next four decades, Phil Knight grew Nike from a tiny upstart shoe company, into one of the largest and most famous brands of all time.

4. Phil Knight Paid $35 for Nike’s Iconic Swoosh Logo

Nike’s “swoosh” logo, now considered one of the most powerful logos in the world, was commissioned for a mere $35.00 from graphic design student Carolyn Davidson in 1971. According to Nike’s web site, Knight said at the time, “I don’t love it, but it will grow on me.” (Source: “Nike gives board seniors the boot,” BBC, August 2, 2004; http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/3527512.stm.)

5. Phil Knight Controls 24% of Nike

The majority of Phil Knight’s fortune is derived from his quarter stake in Nike, which currently has a market cap of $99.4 billion. He controls 24% of the company directly. He holds the class A and B shares through Delaware-based Swoosh LLC, family trusts, and holding entities created for the benefit of his children. Nike’s class A shares don’t trade and are convertible to B shares on a one-to-one basis. (Source: “Today’s ranking of the world’s richest people,” Bloomberg, last accessed March 8, 2016.)

Phil Knight’s Net Worth by Year

Year Net Worth
2016 $25.6 billion
2015 $23.1 billion
2014 $20.1 billion
2013 $18.5 billion
2012 $13.2 billion

Data source: Celebrity Glory