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Joshua Hunt: "University of Nike" | Talks at Google

In the mid-1990s, facing severe cuts to its public funding, the University of Oregon—like so many colleges across the country—was desperate for cash. Luckily, the Oregon Ducks’ 1995 Rose Bowl berth caught the attention of the school’s wealthiest alumnus: Nike founder Phil Knight, who was seeking new marketing angles at the collegiate level. And so the University of Nike was born: Knight has so far donated more than half a billion dollars to the school in exchange for high-visibility branding opportunities.

But as journalist Joshua Hunt shows in University of Nike, Oregon has paid dearly for the veneer of financial prosperity and athletic success that has come with this brand partnering.