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When St. Louis rapper Nelly dropped "Air Force Ones" in 2002, he did more than just create a hit song. He reinforced pop culture's love for the Nike brand. From the classic Nike Air Force 1 and the Nike Air Max 1, to the Nike Dunk and Nike Dunk High, to the Nike Blazer and Nike Air Max 95s, Nike sneakers have become some of the most popular in the world. They've also become staples in the hip-hop community with everyone from Jay-Z and Eminem to Kanye West and Wale rapping about Nike Air Force sneakers and Nike clothes in their songs. Walk down the streets in any major city and you're bound to spots ACGs, Goadomes, Air Max 97s, Shox, Air Max 90s, Vandals and Sweet Classics.
Back in 1964, when University of Oregon track and field coach Bill Bowerman and entrepreneur Philip Knight teamed up to create Nike, they probably had no idea the brand would get as large as it has today. Nike is now a billion-dollar company, largely because outside of just creating cool kicks, they also cater to a variety of different sports and athletes. NBA players like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James wear Nike basketball shoes as well as Nike clothing. Nike Foamposite sneakers have been worn by everyone from Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway to Kevin Garnett. The company also helps WNBA players like Candace Parker reach their goals by releasing a number of different Nike Women sneakers every year. Nike shoes like the Nike Air Trainer, Nike Air Max and Nike Zoom have all become ingrained in the training cycles of track and field athletes as well as NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL players. And Nike online clothing has given athletes from all over the world the opportunity to wear the classic Swoosh.
Even after nearly 50 years in the game, Nike still has the same attitude when it comes to creating quality sneakers and clothing for everyone from rappers to athletes: Just do it!