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CNBC Transcript: Nike Chairman Phil Knight Speaks with CNBC’s Sara Eisen on “Squawk on the Street” Today

WHEN: Today, Tuesday, April 26th

WHERE: CNBC's "Squawk on the Street"

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Nike Chairman Phil Knight and CNBC's Sara Eisen on "Squawk on the Street" (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET) today, Tuesday, April 26th. Following are links to the interview on CNBC.com:http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000512811 and http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000512810.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

SARA EISEN: WELL, 50 YEARS AGO PHIL KNIGHT WAS A STRUGGLING SHOE SALES MAN BEGGING BANKERS FOR CASH, SELLING JAPANESE SNEAKERS OUT OF THE TRUNK OF HIS CAR. TODAY, HIS COMPANY NIKE HAS GROWN INTO A SPORTSWEAR GIANT SURPASSING $30 BILLION IN SALES LAST YEAR. AND FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER PHIL KNIGHT IS TELLING HIS STORY. HIS MEMOIR "SHOE DOG" IS OUT TODAY. AND MR. KNIGHT JOINS US FOR A VERY RARE AND VERY SPECIAL INTERVIEW. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE.

PHIL KNIGHT: GREAT TO BE HERE. I HAVEN'T BEEN ON THE FLOOR OF THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE FOR ALMOST 20 YEARS. IT IS GREAT TO BE BACK.

EISEN: HERE WE ARE AT POST FIVE WHERE NIKE TRADES. YOU TOOK IT PUBLIC IN DECEMBER 1980.

KNIGHT: THAT'S RIGHT.

EISEN: WHAT I LEARNED IN THE BOOK IS YOU ACTUALLY DID NOT WANT TO TAKE THIS COMPANY PUBLIC.

KNIGHT: WE WERE CONCERNED ABOUT LOSING CONTROL. SO THAT WAS ALWAYS -- SO, YES, WE DID DEBATE FOR TWO OR THREE YEARS BEFORE WE FINALLY DECIDED TO GO PUBLIC. AND IT WAS OBVIOUSLY ONE OF THE BEST THINGS WE EVER DID.

EISEN: YOU ALSO WENT PUBLIC ON THE SAME WEEK AS APPLE.

KNIGHT: RIGHT.

EISEN: A LITTLE COMPANY KNOWN AS APPLE. THAT IS WHY YOU INSISTED ON $22 A SHARE. IT SEEMS LIKE THERE'S A KINSHIP BETWEEN APPLE AND NIKE. TIM COOK IS ON NIKE'S BOARD. WHAT IS THAT RELATIONSHIP?

KNIGHT: WELL, I THINK IT'S MORE KIND OF A CULTURAL SAMENESS THAN THERE IS ANYTHING ELSE. YEAH, OBVIOUSLY TIM COOK IS A VERY VALUABLE BOARD MEMBER, BUT SORT OF THE CULTURES THE TWO COMPANIES ARE SOMEWHAT SIMILAR AND THAT'S WHY WE GET COMPARED SOMETIMES IN THE MEDIA.

EISEN: LET'S GO BACK TO THE EARLY DAYS THE 1960s WHERE THE BOOK BEGINS. YOU'RE A RUNNER WITH A TRACK COACH YOU'RE VERY FOND OF, AN ACCOUNTANT AND STANFORD BUSINESS SCHOOL GRAD.

KNIGHT: ALL THOSE THINGS.

EISEN: AND ALL OF THAT PRODUCED A CRAZY IDEA. HOW DID IT COME TO YOU?

KNIGHT: IT WAS A COMBINATION OF TWO THINGS, IT CAME OFF THE RUNNING TRACK IN OREGON AND OUT OF THE CLASSROOM AT STANFORD BUSINESS SCHOOL. AND WAS ALWAYS TINKERING WITH SHOES AND HE BEGAN TO HAVE SOME OF HIS GOOD RUNNERS, NOT JUST HACKS LIKE ME WEAR THE SHOES. AND THEY WERE WEARING THEM QUITE SUCCESSFULLY. AND HE WAS VERY SINCERE IN BELIEVING THE WEIGHT OF THE SHOE WAS VERY IMPORTANT TO A RUNNER. AND SO THAT REGISTERED. THEN ALL THE BEST SHOES WERE BEING MADE IN GERMANY. AND IT MADE NO SENSE THAT YOU WOULD MAKE SHOES, ADIDAS AND PUMA, MADE NO SENSE THAT THEY BE MADE IN GERMANY. SO I WROTE A PAPER THEY SHOULD MAKE THEM IN JAPAN AND THE IDEA BUILT AND BUILT AND BUILT AND BECAME A CRAZY IDEA TO EVERYBODY BUT ME AND MY COLLEGE PROFESSOR AND THEN MY OLD TRACK COACH.

EISEN: WHAT ABOUT THE SWOOSH? I LOVE HOW THIS IDEA WAS GENERATED.

KNIGHT: WHEN WE BROKE OFF WE WERE DISTRIBUTED FOR TIGER SHOES FOR A LONG TIME AND WHEN WE BROKE OFF FROM THEM WE HAD TO HAVE AN IDENTIFYING LOGO ON THE SIDE. AND WE SO WE PAID A GRAPHIC ART STUDENT AT PORTLAND STATE $35 TO COME UP WITH THE SWOOSH.

EISEN: AND THE NAME.

KNIGHT: AND THE NAME WAS –

EISEN: DIMENSION SIX WAS YOUR IDEA --

KNIGHT: DIMENSION SIX HAS A CERTAIN RING DOESN'T IT. DIMENSION SIX JUST THINK WHERE WE'D BE IF I PICKED THAT NAME.

EISEN: YOU GOT MOCKED.

KNIGHT: I DID. I GOT LAUGHED AT. WE HAD 45 EMPLOYEES AT THE TIME WE MADE THE CHANGE AND EACH ONE PUT A NAME IN THE HAT WE DIDN'T HAVE TIME OR MONEY TO DO RESEARCH. SO EVERYBODY PUT IN A NAME. MY NAME WAS DIMENSION SIX, GOT MOCKED. BUT THE OTHER NAMES WEREN'T VERY GOOD EITHER AND THEN FINALLY JEFF JOHNSON CAME UP WITH NIKE AND SAID WELL I DON'T KNOW IF I LIKE IT TOO MUCH, BUT IT'S BETTER THAN THE OTHER NAMES. TURNED OUT TO BE PRETTY GOOD.

EISEN: ALONG THE WAY YOU DID FACE A NUMBER OF HURDLES, JAPANESE BUSINESSMEN, BANKERS WHO WOULDN'T LOAN YOU MONEY.

KNIGHT: RIGHT.

EISEN: YEN FLUCTUATIONS, WHICH I ENJOYED READING ABOUT. WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN THOSE EARLY YEARS?

KNIGHT: YEAH, PROBABLY THE BIGGEST -- WELL, TWO HUGE ONES. ONE GETTING KICKED OUT OF THE SECOND BANK AND NOT BEING ABLE TO PAY -- WE WERE SUPPOSED TO PAY $1 MILLION AND I WALKED IN THAT FRIDAY AFTERNOON AND SAYS I CAN'T PAY YOU ANYTHING AND I NEED TO BORROW ANOTHER BILLION. AND THEY SAID YES AND KEPT US ALIVE. AND THAT'S REALLY KIND OF ONE OF THE DRAMATIC STORIES OF THE EARLY YEARS. THEN THE OTHER THING WAS FIGHTING WITH OUR OWN GOVERNMENT ABOUT WHAT THE DUTIES WOULD BE APPLIED ON A RETRO ACTIVE BASIS.

EISEN: THAT'S WHERE I WANTED TO GO BECAUSE THE RED TAPE IN SOME WAYS HAS ONLY GOTTEN WORSE.

KNIGHT: YES, I THINK IT'S TRUE.

EISEN: IS AMERICA STILL THE BEST PLACE TO LAUNCH A BUSINESS?

KNIGHT: WELL, I DON'T KNOW, I THINK IT SHOULD BE. AND IT CAN BE. AND I THINK IT WILL BE AGAIN. I DON'T KNOW IT'S HAVING A LITTLE BIT OF A DOWN PERIOD RIGHT NOW FOR ENTREPRENEURS IT HAS BEEN SHOWED BY POLLS. BUT I THINK IT'S A CYCLE, I DON'T THINK IT'S A TREND. SO I THINK AMERICA IS STILL THE BEST PLACE OVERALL TO DO BUSINESS.

EISEN: YOU MENTIONED THE COMPETITION WITH ADIDAS WHICH WE LEARNED YOU ARE FIERCELY COMPETITIVE, HAVE BEEN FROM THE BEGINNING JUST WANT TO READ THIS EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK. I WAS DEVELOPING AN UNHEALTHY CONTEMPT FOR ADIDAS, AS YOU SAY, OR MAYBE IT WAS HEALTHY. I DESPISED THEM.

KNIGHT: YEAH.

EISEN: I'M CURIOUS OF WHAT YOU MAKE OF THE COMPETITION RIGHT NOW. ADIDAS IS COMING BACK FROM A SOFT PATCH AND THERE ARE UPSTARTS LIKE UNDERARMOUR MAKING HEADWAY ON ATHLETES AND ON SALES.

KNIGHT: I AM SORT OF A WORRIER BY NATURE EVERYBODY IS A CONCERN, BUT I'M STILL THE SAME AS I WAS BEFORE. I KNOW THEY ASKED ME IN ONE OF THE RARE TV INTERVIEWS FROM 25 YEARS AGO IF I WANTED TO MEET THE PRESIDENT OF REEBOK AND I SAID NO. I SAID I DON'T KNOW HIM, I DON'T LIKE HIM AND I DON'T WANT TO LIKE HIM. AND I STILL FEEL THAT WAY ABOUT THE COMPETITION.

EISEN: WHAT ABOUT UNDERARMOUR IN THE U.S. MARKET? IS THERE ROOM FOR THREE?

KNIGHT: THEY'RE ONE OF THEM. THEY'RE ONE OF THEM. THERE ARE LOTS OF THEM WE COMPETE WITH. BUT BELIEVE ME, WE WILL COMPETE.

EISEN: BUT KEVIN PLANK HAS A SIMILAR STORY TO YOU. STARTED AS AN ATHLETE TELLING T-SHIRTS IN HIS GRANDMOTHER'S BASEMENT IN GEORGETOWN.

KNIGHT: YEP.

EISEN: DOES HE REMIND YOU OF YOURSELF?

KNIGHT: WELL, I'VE MET HIM A COUPLE TIMES. WE'RE DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES. SO NOT REALLY.

EISEN: AND YOU DESPISE YOUR ENEMIES STILL OR THE COMPETITION.

KNIGHT: ALWAYS.

EISEN: I JUST WANTED TO ASK YOU ABOUT THE U.S. MARKET AND WHAT YOU SEE AND HOW IT'S CHANGED, THE MARKET FOR SPORTSWEAR. THE FACT PEOPLE NOW WEAR IT TO SCHOOL, THEY WEAR IT IN THE STREETS. I MEAN, YOU REALLY CHANGED THE WAY WE ALL DRESS.

KNIGHT: IT ABSOLUTELY BLEW ME AWAY. I WAS IN NEW YORK THIS WEEKEND AND WALKING AROUND THE STREETS OF NEW YORK TO SEE THE MUSCLE TIGHTS, WHICH STARTED OUT AS LONG UNDERWEAR, YOU KNOW, 40, 50 YEARS AGO. WE WORE LONG UNDERWEAR TO RUN IN RACES BECAUSE WE DIDN'T WANT TO WEAR SWEATS AND DIDN'T WANT SHORTS BECAUSE IT WAS TOO COLD. THEN WE DYED THE LONG UNDERWEAR AND MADE IT OUT OF DIFFERENT MATERIAL AND IT BECAME MUSCLE TIGHT AND IT IS NOW THE UNIFORM OF THE WOMAN WALKING AROUND NEW YORK CITY WHICH BLOWS ME AWAY.

EISEN: WHAT'S GOING TO BE THE NEXT TREND?

KNIGHT: WE'RE ALWAYS WORKING ON THINGS BUT OUR THING IS ALWAYS TO HAVE SOMETHING AS A FUNCTIONAL BASE. THAT'S WHAT THE MUSCLE TIGHTS DO. SO WE'RE WORKING ON THINGS TO FIRST AND FOREMOST MAKE THE ATHLETE RUN BETTER, JUMP HIGHER, THROW FARTHER.

EISEN: WHAT ABOUT CHINA? THIS WAS A MARKET THAT YOU WERE THE FIRST TO ENTER AS A SPORTSWEAR COMPANY BACK IN 1980. 1 BILLION PEOPLE. 2 BILLION FEET.

KNIGHT: THAT'S RIGHT.

EISEN: YOU SAY IN THE BOOK. SO MANY OTHER AMERICAN COMPANIES THAT STRUGGLE IN CHINA, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM? OR THOSE THAT WANT TO ENTER THAT MARKET?

KNIGHT: WELL, IT'S A COMPLICATED MARKET, BUT IT'S A BIG MARKET. SO YOU HAVE TO PAIR THOSE TWO THINGS TOGETHER. I THINK IF YOU'RE A REAL SMALL COMPANY, YOU DON'T HAVE THE RESOURCES TO GET GOING. SO YOU HAVE TO BE A CERTAIN SIZE BEFORE YOU CAN REALLY GO THROUGH ALL THE THINGS THAT ARE NECESSARY TO COMPETE THERE.

EISEN: WHAT ABOUT THE FACTORY SCANDAL? WHAT ABOUT THE SWEAT SHOPS? A LINE THAT YOU READ BACK IN 1998, SORT OF DURING THE HEIGHT OF IT, TO THE WASHINGTON PRESS CLUB. YOU SAID THE NIKE PRODUCT HAS BECOME SYNONYMOUS WITH SLAVE WAGES, FORCED OVERTIME AND ARBITRARY ABUSES.

KNIGHT: YEAH.

EISEN: WHAT WAS THAT LIKE GOING THROUGH THAT?

KNIGHT: IT WAS NOT FUN.

EISEN: I WOULD IMAGINE.

KNIGHT: BUT I THINK THAT WE MADE A LOT OF MISTAKES EARLY ON. MOST OF THEM DUE TO THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER.

EISEN: WHICH WAS YOU.

KNIGHT: THAT WAS ME. BUT WE MADE A LOT OF PROGRESS SINCE. AND I THINK WITHIN THE INDUSTRY, WE WERE RECOGNIZED AS THE GOLD STANDARD OF FOREIGN FACTORIES. I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANYMORE EVIDENCE OF THAT THAN THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES COMING OUT TO VISIT NIKE WHEN HE WANTS TO PROMOTE HIS FOREIGN TRADE INITIATIVE.

EISEN: I WAS THERE FOR THAT WHEN HE CAME TO TALK ABOUT TPP. EXCEPT FOR NOW ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL, EVERYBODY IS BASHING THAT AND ALL THE OTHER TRADE AGREEMENTS THAT WE'VE SIGNED.

KNIGHT: YES, THEY ARE. THAT'S THE FLAVOR OF THE MONTH. AND I THINK THAT'S VERY REGRETTABLE.

EISEN: YOU DID MENTION YOUR ROLE AS CEO. MARK PARKER, OF COURSE, CURRENT CEO WHO TRANSITIONED TEN YEARS AGO. AND NOW YOU ARE PREPARING FOR ANOTHER TRANSITION TO STEP DOWN AS CHAIRMAN IN JUNE. HOW DO YOU MANAGE THAT SUCCESSION PLAN FOR A COMPANY THAT YOU FOUNDED?

KNIGHT: WELL, YOU THINK ABOUT IT A LOT. SO THAT BASICALLY THE DECISION ON THE CURRENT PLAN FOR ME TO STEP DOWN AS CHAIRMAN IN JUNE BASICALLY THOUGHT ABOUT FOR TWO OR THREE YEARS. AND I JUST HAVE A PHILOSOPHY THAT IT'S A LOT BETTER TO STEP DOWN TWO YEARS EARLY THAN TWO YEARS LATE. AND SO I'M IN GOOD HEALTH AND I FEEL GOOD. BUT I THINK –

EISEN: BUT IS IT HARD TO LET GO?

KNIGHT: WELL, IT MAY BE. COME ASK ME IN JUNE, BUT RIGHT NOW I'M AT PEACE WITH IT.

EISEN: WERE YOU SURPRISED – I WAS SORT OF – I READ THE BOOK. BOOK ABOUT THE HISTORY OF NIKE. I WAS A LITTLE SURPRISED THAT THERE WASN'T EVEN A CHAPTER OR REALLY MUCH OF A MENTION OF MICHAEL JORDAN. WHICH TO ME SEEMED SO CRITICAL IN NIKE'S HISTORY. WHY IS THAT?

KNIGHT: WELL, I DECIDED THAT BASICALLY IF I TOLD THE WHOLE HISTORY OF NIKE, IT WAS TOO MUCH STORY FOR A BOOK. AND SO I WANTED TO CONCENTRATE ON THE EARLY YEARS AND I STOPPED AT WHEN WE WENT PUBLIC. AND THE SKY IS THE LIMIT AND THAT WAS LIKE FOUR YEARS BEFORE WE SIGNED JORDAN. BUT OBVIOUSLY, SIGNING JORDAN – I DO ALLUDE TO IT IN THE EPILOGUE – WAS A VERY MEANINGFUL MOMENT TO US AND REALLY KIND OF TOOK US TO A NEW LEVEL.

EISEN: HOW IMPORTANT IS HE FOR THE FUTURE OF NIKE?

KNIGHT: HUGE. BASICALLY HIS SALES VOLUME IS HUGELY SIGNIFICANT, MUCH MORE THAN WHEN HE WAS A PLAYER AND HAS A GREAT GROWTH TRAJECTORY.

EISEN: YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT SOME OF THE RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER ATHLETES – PRE TIGER, LeBRON. HOW DID YOU REDEFINE THIS ATHLETE/SPONSOR RELATIONSHIP?

KNIGHT: WELL, IT WASN'T A CONSCIOUS EFFORT TO REDEFINE IT, BUT WE JUST SAID FROM THE VERY BEGINNING WE WANT TO WIN THE ATHLETE'S HEART AS WELL AS HIS OR HER FEET. AND WE'VE WORKED AT THAT EVER SINCE. SO THEY BECOME PART OF THE COMPANY, ALMOST PART FAMILY.

EISEN: ARE THERE ANY ATHLETES THAT YOU REGRET LETTING GO?

KNIGHT: NOT REALLY. I THINK THERE'S PROBABLY A COUPLE – THERE'S SEVERAL THAT YOU COULD SAY I WISH WE WOULD HAVE GOTTEN TO THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE, BUT I DON'T REALLY REGRET LETTING GO.

EISEN: WHICH WAS THE MOST MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIP OF ALL THE ATHLETES FOR YOU?

KNIGHT: WELL, I THINK OBVIOUSLY JORDAN IS THE MOST MEANINGFUL FINANCIALLY. BUT TO SAY ON A PERSONAL BASIS, I WOULDN'T WANT TO SAY. THEY'RE LIKE CHILDREN. AND WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE CHILD?

EISEN: ACCORDING TO FORBES NOW, YOU ARE THE 24th RICHEST PERSON IN THE WORLD AND HAVE MADE A $25 BILLION FORTUNE. WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO DO WITH IT?

KNIGHT: BASICALLY I'LL SEE THAT MY CHILDREN ARE FIXED AND THEIR CHILDREN. AND THE REST OF IT, WHICH WILL BE BY FAR THE MOST, WILL BE GIVEN OVER, YOU KNOW, A PERIOD OF MORE THAN A DECADE TO CHARITY.

EISEN: DO YOU SUPPORT ANY OF THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES?

KNIGHT: I'M NOT SUPPORTING ANYBODY RIGHT NOW.

EISEN: WE SORT OF ELUDED TO THE TRADE, BUT I THINK AS SOMEONE WHO HAS BUILT A BUSINESS AND A PRESENCE IN NEARLY EVERY PART OF THE WORLD AND NOW DEPENDS ON FOREIGN MARKETS FOR MAJORITY OF SALES AND PRODUCTION FOR NIKE, YOU MUST BE WORRIED AT WHAT YOU ARE HEARING FROM DONALD TRUMP WHEN IT COMES TO PROTECTIONIST RHETORIC.

KNIGHT: WELL, ALL FOUR OF THE LEADING CANDIDATES ARE BASICALLY ANTITRADE RIGHT NOW. TRUMP IS MAY BE THE MOST VERBAL, BUT IT'S FUNNY. I'LL GIVE YOU A FUNNY ANSWER. I DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT FOR NIKE. BASICALLY OUR AVERAGE SELLING PRICE IS $88 IN THE LOW END FOR SOMEBODY ELSE IS MAYBE $60. IF OUR PRICE GOES UP TO $125, THEY HAVE TO GO UP TO $100. WE'LL PROBABLY GAIN MARKET SHARE. SO I DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT FROM A PERSONAL STANDPOINT, BUT I TRULY DO BELIEVE IN THE ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND I THINK IT WILL HURT THE COUNTRY AND HURT THE WORLD IF WE START CLOSING MARKETS.

EISEN: WHAT ABOUT THE BUSINESS BASHING THAT WE'RE ALSO HEARING ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL?

KNIGHT: YEAH, THERE'S A LOT OF THAT TOO, WHICH I THINK IS UNFORTUNATE, WHICH I THINK CONTRIBUTES TO THE THING THAT I THINK THERE'S SORT OF A DOWN TREND IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP. IT GOES TO BUSINESS IN GENERAL, BUT I DO BELIEVE IT'S GOING TO BE SHORT LIVED.

EISEN: DO YOU BELIEVE THAT ONE OF THE CANDIDATES WOULD BE WORSE FOR BUSINESS THAN THE REST?

KNIGHT: I WOULDN'T MAKE THAT STATEMENT RIGHT NOW.

EISEN: ALSO WANTED TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT SOME OF THE COMPANIES YOU ADMIRE. BECAUSE YOU SAY IN THE BOOK, YOU ADMIRED SONY. AT THE TIME, THAT WAS ITS HAYDAY.

KNIGHT: RIGHT.

EISEN: WHAT ABOUT RIGHT NOW?

KNIGHT: WELL, SONY AT THE TIME IS WHAT APPLE IS NOW. AND I WOULD SAY PROBABLY WE RESPECT APPLE ALMOST MORE THAN ANY OTHER COMPANY. FOR WHAT THEY DO IN INNOVATION, AND THE GREAT CONSUMER PRODUCTS THAT THEY BRING TO MARKET, THEY'RE VERY WORTHY OF RESPECT.

EISEN: I KNOW YOU DON'T LIKE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN CHILDREN, BUT YOUR FAVORITE NIKE SNEAKER OF ALL TIME?

KNIGHT: WELL, THE SHOE THAT I STILL RUN IN IS 43 YEARS OLD. IT'S THE PEGSUS. SO IT'S HELD UP A LOT BETTER THAN I HAVE.

EISEN: AND WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE? WHAT DO YOU SEE FOR NIKE IN TEN YEARS?

KNIGHT: WELL, I THINK, YOU KNOW, NIKE'S GREAT GROWTH PERIOD LIES AHEAD OF IT. MARK PARKER ANNOUNCED IN I THINK A COUPLE MONTHS AGO THAT HE HAS A PROJECTION OF $50 BILLION IN SALES IN ABOUT FIVE YEARS. AND WE DO BELIEVE THAT'S ACHIEVABLE. SO I'M EXCITED ABOUT THE FUTURE FOR NIKE.

EISEN: WHAT ABOUT INNOVATIONS? NIKE HAS IN LARGE PART BECOME A TECHNOLOGY COMPANY AS WELL AS SNEAKER COMPANY.

KNIGHT: IN SOME WAYS THAT IS TRUE. I MEAN, INNOVATION IS KEY TO US. AND I LIKE THE GROUP WE HAVE WORKING ON INNOVATIVE NEW PRODUCTS AND SYSTEMS. AND THAT EXCITES ME ABOUT THE FUTURE AS WELL.

EISEN: IS THERE AN INNOVATION THAT YOU'RE MOST EXCITED ABOUT RIGHT NOW?

KNIGHT: WELL, IF THERE WAS, I WOULDN'T TELL YOU ABOUT IT. BUT I WILL SAY THIS –

EISEN: SELF TYING SNEAKERS?

KNIGHT: THE ONES THAT WE HAVE IN SHOES, THE FLY NET SYSTEM IS JUST BEGINNING TO REGISTER WITH THE CONSUMER. AND IT'S A REALLY INNOVATIVE BREAKTHROUGH ON HOW TO GET LIGHTWEIGHT UPPERS, COMFORTABLE UPPERS, THAT ARE REALLY BETTER THAN WHAT HAS EXISTED BEFORE.

EISEN: AND WHAT ABOUT YOUR COMPETITION? IS THERE ANYTHING OUT THERE THAT YOU SEE THAT YOU SAY WE SHOULD BE DOING?

KNIGHT: I DON'T SEE ANYTHING RIGHT NOW THAT I DON'T DOUBT THAT THEY HAVE CAPACITY TO DO SOME THINGS. BUT WE NEED TO WIN THE INNOVATION WAR.

EISEN: HOW MANY PAIRS OF SNEAKERS DO YOU HAVE?

KNIGHT: I HAVE ABOUT 50 IN MY CLOSET.

EISEN: 50? THAT'S IT?

KNIGHT: THAT'S ALL. I'VE GOT A VERY SMALL CLOSET.

EISEN: NIKE HAS MADE A LOT MORE SNEAKERS THAN THAT.

KNIGHT: OH, I DON'T HAVE ALL OF THEM THAT'S FOR SURE. I ONLY HAVE TWO FEET.

EISEN: PHIL, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

KNIGHT: THANK YOU.

EISEN: THAT IS PHIL KNIGHT. HE IS THE FOUNDER OF NIKE. HIS NEW MEMOIR IS OUT. IT IS CALLED SHOE DOG. AND HE IS, GUYS, ONE OF AMERICA'S GREATEST ENTREPRENEURS. I'LL SEND IT BACK TO YOU.

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