Tinker Hatfield Knew Nike Was Going to Be Big Even Before Michael Jordan Was Signed

Nike designer Tinker Hatfield and his brother Tobie predicted the company's success long before high-profile endorsements like Michael Jordan.

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Complex Original

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In a recent article by Arizona Daily Star sports columnist Greg Hansen, it was revealed that designer Tinker Hatfield and his brother Tobie may have predicted Nike's success way ahead of just about everyone else.

The year was 1979, and the brothers Hatfield were standouts on the University of Oregon track and field team, yet Tinker already had his sights set on something bigger. The fledgling architect told Hansen that he was interested in a new startup company called Nike.

For Hansen, it was the first time he had heard about Nike, and after the brothers showed off a pair of track spikes that Bill Bowerman customized for Tobie, Hansen remembers them saying that the brand  "could be big."

"Big" may have wound up being an understatement, but it's interesting to think that Nike's most acclaimed designer knew that the company was destined for success this early on.