Nike paid Carolyn Davidson, a young graphic design student, $35 for the now famous Swoosh symbol. The founder of Nike, Phil Knight was teaching accounting at Portland State University when he met Davidson. He hired her to do some design work for his company, Blue Ribbon Sports, Inc.
For a presentation with some potential investors, Knight needed a design for a line of shoes. They were facing a deadline, so Davidson quickly put together some designs. One of them was the "Swoosh".
This is what Knight had to say about the now legendary design: "I don't love it, but it will grow on me."
He paid her $35 for the design at the time, but he also compensated her in the future by giving her stock in the company and a gold "Swoosh" diamond ring.