How Nike Became Nike: Charlie Denson's Leadership Lessons

Charlie Denson thought he'd spend a couple of years working at the small sneaker chain in Oregon, and then he'd "find a real job, at a real company." Two years turned into thirty-five and that little chain called Nike grew into the world's most famous athletic brand. Denson shared his incredible journey from Assistant Store Manager to Nike Brand President with St. Luke's students as part of our Lunch & Lead series. 

St. Luke's parent and trustee Chris Wearing introduced Denson and his legacy of tying Nike to high profile athletes. Denson and his team created unforgettable branding campaigns featuring high-profile athletes including: Bo Jackson, John McEnroe, Kobe BryantMichael JordanMaria Sharapova, LeBron James, and Tiger Woods.

Among many questions Denson fielded during Lunch & Lead were two standouts: 1) Which athlete had the biggest impact on Nike?  2) How did the swoosh become synonymous with Nike?

Watch Denson's responses below...



More from former Nike Brand President Charlie Denson:

Charlie Denson Mentors at St Lukes Power of Brand Mini-Course_1103Charlie Denson mentors entrepreneurial students in St. Luke's Leadership Lab.


StLukes_CFL_PowerofBrandEventCharlie Denson and WW's Gail Tifford as panelists at St. Luke's Center for Leadership Power of Brand event—moderated by St. Luke's parent and CNN Anchor Alisyn Camerota

  StLukesCFL_Lunch & Lead-Charlie Denson_1132Parent and Trustee Chris Wearing facilitates the CFL's Lunch & Lead with Charlie Denson


See the full Lunch & Lead with Charlie Denson Photo Gallery

Visit St. Luke's Lunch & Lead to discover more leadership experiences shared by guest speakers from a wide range of industries and fields. 


Learn more about St. Luke's - download our brochure





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