Netflix options rights to Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog Nike memoir
Netflix has optioned the rights to The New York Times bestseller Shoe Dog, written by Phil Knight. Five-time Academy Award-nominated producer Frank Marshall (The Sixth Sense, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Raiders of the Lost Ark) will produce the film alongside Knight. Golden Globe and Emmy Award winners Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (Dolemite Is My Name!, The People vs. Larry Flint, The People v O.J. Simpson) are writing the screenplay.
Phil Knight said: “I look forward to working with my friend, the great Frank Marshall, in bringing my story and the story of Nike to the screen. I have been gratified by the reception my book has received and think that we can explain my journey and the story of Nike to an even larger audience in collaboration with Netflix.”
Fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed fifty dollars from his father and launched a company with one simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost running shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the trunk of his car in 1963, Knight grossed eight thousand dollars that first year. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $36 billion. In this age of start-ups, Knight’s Nike is the gold standard, and its swoosh is one of the few icons instantly recognized in every corner of the world.
But Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always been a mystery. In Shoe Dog, he tells his story at last. At twenty-four, Knight decides that rather than work for a big corporation, he will create something all his own, new, dynamic, different. He details the many risks he encountered, the crushing setbacks, the ruthless competitors and hostile bankers — as well as his many thrilling triumphs. Above all, he recalls the relationships that formed the heart and soul of Nike, with his former track coach, the irascible and charismatic Bill Bowerman, and with his first employees, a ragtag group of misfits and savants who quickly became a band of swoosh-crazed brothers.
Together, harnessing the electrifying power of a bold vision and a shared belief in the transformative power of sports, they created a brand — and a culture — that changed everything.
“Ever since our collaboration on BTTF and being a runner myself, I’ve always been fascinated by Phil’s story and how the company came to be. It’s an amazing tale about what the path to success really looks like, with its mistakes, struggles, sacrifice and even luck. It’s about how a company can grow with the right people, dedication, a belief in the power of sport and a shared mission to build a brand that would change everything,” said Frank Marshall.
Scott Stuber, head of Netflix’s film group, added: “We couldn’t be more excited to be making Shoe Dog with Phil Knight, one of the world’s business icons and a great storyteller. Phil created a brand and a company that became much more than the swoosh. Through innovation, passion, and trial and error, Phil created something that became a part of our culture. We can’t wait to share that with the world. This project is also giving us the ability to extend our relationship with world-class writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. They are fantastic collaborators and we are lucky to have them working with us, Frank and Phil and this project.”
Shoe Dog was published in April 2016 and remains on the NYT Best Seller list. The book has been published in more than 40 languages worldwide.