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Articles tagged #Phil Knight
Today's Running News


After more than two decades, John Capriotti is stepping down as leader of Nike’s track and field sports marketing group

“John is going into the consulting business,” said Steve Miller, a former Nike executive and the man who hired Capriotti at the company.

The fiery former track coach still worked for the sneaker giant as of Friday. But he is leaning toward a consulting deal that would make Nike one of his clients, according to a second source close to Capriotti.

News of the change had the track and field world buzzing on Friday.

“It’s kind of unbelievable,” said a third source, a prominent sports agent. “He’s been in that position for the entire 21 years I’ve been around track and field. He’s been the single most influential person in the sport.”

Neither Capriotti nor Nike could immediately be reached for comment.

Capriotti’s decision comes as Nike is cutting costs and laying off employees. The company lost about $790 million last quarter.

Since Nike brought in John Donahoe as its new CEO and chairman in January, there has been speculation about the ramifications for the company’s sports marketing arm, and for its track and field operations in particular. Donahoe’s athletic background is unknown. But outsiders speculate that the longtime technology executive does not share the passion for track and field of his predecessors Phil Knight and Mark Parker.

Under Capriotti’s watch, Nike solidified its position as the sport’s superpower. It hired more track athletes to endorsement contracts than any other sponsor. It also bankrolled USA Track & Field, the sport’s governing body in this country, signing a sponsorship in 2014 worth more than $400 million.

Nike sponsored three different teams of elite runners, all of them based in Oregon. Its audacious goal was to make American runners once again competitive with the rest of the world.

Capriotti and Nike also helped secure Eugene’s position as one of the world capitals of the sport. He was such a fixture at Hayward Field that his customary spot in the grandstands became known as Cap’s Corner.

The stunning decision to award the 2021 track and field world championships to Eugene came in part because of the enthusiastic support of Knight and Nike. The coronavirus pandemic has delayed the running of those championships in Eugene until 2022.

There was also plenty of controversy. Alberto Salazar was Nike’s superstar coach for the Nike Oregon Project. But Salazar was dogged for years by allegations that he encouraged his athletes to use banned substances. He was banned from the sport for four years “for orchestrating and facilitating prohibited doping conduct.”

Nike sided with Salazar and continued to back him even after the ban, which Salazar is appealing.

(09/19/2020) Views: 141 ⚡AMP
by Oregon Live

With Hayward Field’s reconstruction complete, the University of Oregon takes possession

The University of Oregon took formal possession of Hayward Field on Tuesday, bringing to an end a two-year reconstruction project that transformed the well-loved if antiquated UO stadium into one said to be among the best track and field facilities in the world.

Paul Weinhold, president and CEO of the University of Oregon Foundation confirmed the Tuesday handover in a text message on Wednesday.

The campus property that houses the stadium had been leased to the limited liability corporation Hayward Field Enhancement for the length of the privately funded project. The project began in June 2018 and is estimated to have cost more than $200 million.

Weinhold said by text he knew of no immediate plans for a public unveiling of the new Hayward Field, and didn’t anticipate one until fall. The campus remains closed to the general public because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“That decision will be a UO Athletics decision,” Weinhold wrote.

Replying Monday by email, UO athletic department spokesman Zach Lawson referred a reporter to the university’s “Hayward Field Renovation” webpage, last updated for the week of June 1.

The original Hayward Field was built as a football stadium in 1919. It has been used for track meets since 1921. It was conceded to be inadequate for many reasons to host the 2021 World Outdoor Track & Field Championships, awarded to Eugene in 2015. The meet since has been delayed until 2022 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers originally had hoped to preserve as much of the historic stadium’s character as possible, including the east grandstand.

But attempts to raise private money for that design foundered. When Nike co-founder Phil Knight, a former UO track athlete, became involved, the original plans were scrapped in favor of a more modern look.

That led to a contentious back and forth between some longtime fans in the community. Hoffman Construction, the firm that handled the project, acted quickly to level the east grandstand less than two weeks after the conclusion of the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships, the final major event staged at the old Hayward Field.

The permanent seating of the new stadium is listed as 12,650 and expandable to nearly,25.000, making it significantly larger than the previous stadium. The older Hayward Field had a listed seating capacity of 10,500. But a hand count done in 2018 revealed no more than 8,500 seats.

Knight and his wife, Penny, are said to have contributed the lion’s share of the project’s funding.

The new stadium is said to feature a number of spectator upgrades, such as 22-inch seats and unobstructed sight lines.

It also will be used as a training facility for members of the UO track team. Among the enhancements are much larger indoor practice areas, locker rooms, a video room, weight room, treatment rooms, a theater and an area for training aids such as hydrotherapy pools and anti-gravity machines.

Attempts Wednesday to reach UO track coach Robert Johnson and Jimmy Stanton, UO senior associate athletic director for communications, were not immediately successful.

(06/21/2020) Views: 206 ⚡AMP
by Oregon Live

Nike Develops Face Shield for Health-Care Workers on the front lines of the coronavirus fight

With personal protective equipment in short supply for medical workers on the front lines of the coronavirus fight, Nike is offering up its services.

The Beaverton, Ore.-based athletic company announced today that its innovation, manufacturing and product teams have developed face shields and powered, air-purifying respirator (PAPR) lenses in partnership with health professionals from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).

Nike delivered its first shipment of face shields and PAPR lenses to OHSU on Friday. The sportswear giant’s PPE is being provided to medical systems located in the vicinity of its Oregon world headquarters, including Providence, Legacy Health Systems and Kaiser Permanente.

“Nike’s generous response to the COVID-19 crisis helps to instill an added layer of confidence and support for health-care workers that we can safely carry out the jobs we were born to do,” said Dr. Miko Enomoto, associate professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine at the OHSU School of Medicine.

The Swoosh’s version of a face shield features elements of its footwear and apparel that have been repurposed, including TPU from its Air soles, collar padding meant for shoes and cords originally destined to become apparel. The full-face shield includes three parts which come together through a nine-step process, a collaborative effort of a few Nike teams at its Air Manufacturing Innovation facilities in Oregon and Missouri. Similarly, Nike is making PAPR helmets using the same TPU that is being utilized for the face shields.

n March, OHSU announced a $7 million donation from Nike’s current and former top brass — CEO John Donahoe and wife Eileen, Chairman Mark Parker and wife Kathy, and founder Phil Knight and wife Penny — to coordinate care and provide equipment as it combats COVID-19 in Oregon.

Other athletic companies based in the United States are also offering their manufacturing capabilities to help solve the PPE shortage. Last week, Under Armour said it has delivered 1,300 face shields to the University of Maryland Medical System and expects to make more than 500,000 fabric face masks and 50,000 fanny packs.

And New Balance said on March 27 that it is creating masks in its Lawrence, Mass., manufacturing facility to be used by health-care professionals.

(04/14/2020) Views: 205 ⚡AMP
by Ella Chochrek

More disturbing news about coach Alberto Salazar of the Nike Oregon Project and what about Nike’s founder and billionaire Phil Knight

There has been much talk about Alberto Salazar and the Nike Oregon Project lately but let's not forget about mister NIKE Phil Knight.  

Just this week teenage super star Mary Cain said her career was ruined by Salazar and Nike. She was mentally abused by coach Salazar when she was part of the Nike Oregon Project. Nike knew what was going on.  

Let’s not forget who Nike is. Phil Knight built Nike into the giant company it is today. He was running things day to day at Nike when the Oregon Project was started in 2001. I am sure he pushed coach Salazar to do whatever it took for their athletes to win races.

Phil Knight ran over a lot of people and companies as he built Nike. Today he is worth over 31 billion dollars and growing. Nike stock is trading near an all time high. I am sure their $250 racing shoes must be helping. A shoe that many feel should be ban. I am sure they did not have it tested or looked at by the world’s governing body (IAAF) before they released it. They just put it on the market. That’s the Phil Knight way. That’s the Salazar way.

I am not a fan of either men. Nor am I a fan of Nike. They tired to destroy my magazine Runner’s World in the early 80’s because I would not rate their shoe number one. This is another story I have told before.  

That’s in the past and I have moved on. But things that have been going on more recently can’t be overlooked.

Nike’s power is overwhelming. They think they can do whatever they want. They are still even supporting Salazar, a long-time friend of Phil Knight. Yet Salazar has been banned for four years for doping violations. Should have been a lifetime ban.

How can we continue to turn our back on this? We can’t. We can’t just continue to buy their shoes, making Phil Knight and family even richer.

In response to Mary Cain’s allegations of forced weight loss and public shaming by former coach Alberto Salazar at a now-disbanded Nike-supported running program, Nike has started an investigation into the matter.

When asked for comment regarding Cain’s allegations Friday, a Nike spokesman issued the following statement: “These are deeply troubling allegations which have not been raised by Mary or her parents before. Mary was seeking to rejoin the Oregon Project and Alberto’s team as recently as April of this year and had not raised these concerns as part of that process. We take the allegations extremely seriously and will launch an immediate investigation to hear from former Oregon Project athletes. At Nike, we seek to always put the athlete at the center of everything we do, and these allegations are completely inconsistent with our values.”

Cain’s also claimed that Nike needs to change because it “controls all the top coaches, athletes, races and even the governing body,” and there is a need for more women to be in charge.Nike response seems rather vague to me.  What do you think we should do? Thanks Mary Cain for sharing your story. That was very brave. 

(11/08/2019) Views: 1,848 ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson (Founder Runner’s World and My Best Runs)

Nike announces Mark Parker will step down as CEO in 2020, He will be replaced by John Donahoe, a Nike board member and the CEO of ServiceNow

Nike said Tuesday afternoon its longtime CEO Mark Parker is stepping down, effective January of next year.

In a sign of the company’s focus on digital, he will be replaced by John Donahoe, a Nike board member and the CEO of ServiceNow. Donahoe was formerly the CEO of eBay and is chairman of the board at PayPal.

Nike shares seesawed in after-hours trading on the news and were last up less than 1%. ServiceNow shares tumbled more than 10%.

Parker, who has been Nike’s CEO since he took over from founder Phil Knight in 2006, will become the company’s executive chairman, according to the press release. He has worked with Nike for four decades, including as vice president of global footwear and co-president.

Parker said in an interview with CNBC’s Wilfred Frost that Donahoe is “no stranger” at Nike and decidedly is “the best choice to come in.” He said Donahoe should “enable this next level of growth,” digitally, for the company. And he added Nike’s board has spent “many months working on succession planning. ... This is not something that happens in a matter of weeks.”

He also said the decision wasn’t prompted by recent doping allegations connected to Nike’s Oregon Project.

At the end of September, Nike’s head running coach, Alberto Salazar, was banned amid doping allegations, which reportedly included ties back to Parker. The New York Times reviewed emails from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that showed Parker had been briefed on Salazar’s various experiments to use testosterone cream for track-and-field athletes.

In an email to employees at the time, Parker said: “Nike did not participate in any effort to systematically dope any runners ever; the very idea makes me sick.” He also said Nike looked into the allegations against Salazar and found no violations.

“We are staying very close to the situation,” Parker told CNBC on Tuesday. “We are in the midst of complex times.”

Nike’s announcement came the same day Under Armour announced its CEO Kevin Plank will be stepping down from the role on Jan. 1.

Under Parker’s leadership, Nike has seen its stock surge and sales climb. But the company has also faced its share of corporate culture scandals and backlash over controversial marketing campaigns.

In 2018, President Trevor Edwards, who many saw as Parker’s likely successor one day, retired.

The retirement came after complaints surfaced at Nike in March 2018, when a group of women presented Parker with a survey on gender discrimination. Edwards was blamed in the lawsuit for creating and exacerbating a “hostile work environment.” Parker responded by restructuring his leadership team, which included ousting Edwards.

Nike in 2018 admitted it failed in hiring and promoting women, and the company ousted at least 11 executives and announced raises for 7,000 employees after conducting an internal review of its pay practices. Parker apologized to employees at large in May.

But the hurdles haven’t stopped there.

Nike, spearheaded by Parker, has had a history of using controversial marketing campaigns to boost its brand.

In September 2018, it dropped a new ad campaign for the 30th anniversary of “Just Do It,” featuring former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. This pulled in a wave of responses, both for and against the commercial slot. But Nike’s “Dream Crazy” campaign ultimately won the “outstanding commercial” award at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards this year, marking the first time a Nike commercial had won the award since 2002.

(10/23/2019) Views: 489 ⚡AMP
by Lauren Thomas

The Pre Classic will never be the same as they rip down the stadium in Eugene Oregon

This is not right. We can thank Phil Knight for putting up millions of dollars to make this happen.  Peter Thompson posted this photo on Facebook about an hour ago. 

He said," Is this the required careful deconstruction of an historic structure, carefully cataloguing everything as you go and ensuring that timbers and metalwork can be re-purposed elsewhere?" Or, is it, "The wilful destruction of an iconic building?"

Lots of history had been torn away. Phil Knight made millions by using Pre in NIKE advertising.  In his memory he could have built "his" new Track someplace else, as Joe Henderson pointed out months ago, in Eugene and left this stadium standing or at least the track and the east grandstands.  

I know that Phil Knight has donated millions to the University and probably to the city and how could anyone stand in his way.

I also know that Phil Knight and NIKE have done a lot of positive things for running but this is not one of them. 

Peter continued, "Bill Bowerman's favorite seat in the upper row of the East Grandstand has been ripped out, undocumented as it was piled with all the other bleachers - and this is the true respect that Phil Knight has granted to Bill Bowerman." 

I know the new track is going to look amazing but it will no longer be Pre's track.  The Pre Classic will never be the same.  This was a mistake that we let happen.  Hayward Field will never be the same.            

(06/23/2018) Views: 2,998 ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson

Tracktown USA hopes to be selected to host the USATF 2020 Olympic Trails

The University of Oregon says work will begin in June on a renovation of Hayward Field, to be completed in 2020. The plans include a 165-foot, 9-story tower named in honor of Bill Bowerman, the coach who brought Steve Prefontaine to campus and helped Phil Knight launch Nike. The work will be funded by Penny and Phil Knight and more than 50 other donors.  Tracktown USA made it clear Wednesday that they'll be making a bid to bring the 2020 Olympic Trials back to Hayward Field. USATF pulled its original bid from Mount SAC in California, due to concerns over the stadium construction.  Construction on the new Hayward Field will start this summer.  Tracktown USA CEO Michael Reilly says the new-look Hayward Field will be completed in plenty of time to host the 2020 Trials. "We understand everything is going to be ready to go for an entire Track and Field season in 2020," said Reilly. "I can't think of a better way to welcome America's top athletes than to bring them to a new Hayward Field."      (05/04/2018) Views: 1,282 ⚡AMP

Don’t make plans just yet to attend the USATF 2020 Olympic Trials at Mt Sac

The USATF awarded the 2020 Olympic Trials in June of last year to Mt. SAC, located in suburban Los Angeles. The decision, made by USATF's board of directors in an 11-2 vote, came after Eugene had staged the trials successfully at Hayward Field in 2008, 2012 and 2016. Eugene and Sacramento both submitted bids for 2020. In theory, the trials could go to one site or the other if the Mt. SAC renovation gets tied up in court and falls too far behind schedule. The University of Oregon is expected to begin a complete razing and reconstruction of Hayward Field this summer to transform it into something UO Foundation president and CEO Paul Weinhold terms "spectacular." The new Hayward Field is expected to cost more than $200 million, Money for the project has been privately raised, much of it reportedly contributed by Nike co-founder Phil Knight. If the Hayward project begins this summer it is expected to be completed by April of 2020. That might be just in time. (This photo was taken during the women's Steeplechase at the 2016 Olympic Trials in Eugene.) (04/10/2018) Views: 1,098 ⚡AMP
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