It's nearly impossible to replicate the lightning in the bottle that Nike has captured in the sportswear and footwear industries, and the man at the heart of it all is Phil Knight, who co-founded the company with Bill Bowerman in 1964, originally as Blue Ribbon Sports. He's got some time on his hands lately, and he's using it to write a book as he prepares to step down as the company's chairman. Books have been written on this history in the past, but now it's coming straight from the horse's mouth, according to CNBC.

"For a long time, I have had requests — from a couple of prominent publishing houses and many diverse individuals — to write the story of how Nike began," Knight said. "I had neither the time nor the inclination — until the last couple of years. Giving up more and more daily responsibility, I have found the time and the perspective. Or said another way: If I didn't do it now, it wasn't going to be done at all."

CNBC writes that Knight's book will talk about issues such as the trouble Nike has run into with overseas factories, but the focus of the book is centered around the brand's genesis. "Those from the early days at Nike were part of, and contributed to, an industry going through a revolution, and a world changing so dramatically, it is not likely a story like this will ever be told again," Knight said.

A date for the book is unknown, but it looks like a must-read for anyone who has an interest in athletic footwear or how to start an empire.