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Greg Hoffman’s lessons from a creative life at Nike

Following his departure from Nike after almost three decades, the former CMO’s new book discusses what businesses large and small can learn from the brand’s innovative approach to creativity

Greg Hoffman has come a long way from the Minneapolis suburb that he grew up in. After spending much of his childhood obsessively drawing superheroes and trying to emulate real-life sporting superheroes on the pitch, at 18 he received an offer to join the prestigious design course at Minneapolis College of Art and Design. His dream was to work at a major arts institution, and he was initially hesitant when he came across the minority internship programme at Nike during his final year.

“Quite frankly, I didn’t have a concept of where all this work was coming from, that there was actually this department within Nike called Image Design, and that this particular department created the Michael Jordan Wings poster that was on the wall in my college apartment,” he tells CR.

At 22, Hoffman became the youngest member of the Nike Image Design team. Fast forward to 2020, and he was retiring from his job as chief marketing officer after 27 years of service to one of the biggest brands in the world, having worked on campaigns for everyone from Ronaldo to LeBron, and events from the Olympics to the FIFA World Cup.

Top image: Shutterstock; Above: Former Nike CMO Greg Hoffman. Photo © Katy Weaver

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