Bo Jackson: Bo Knows Best

(Photo credit:

(Photo credit:

Bo Knows. Period.

That was the theme in the late 80’s/early 90’s advertising campaign by Nike that everyone was familiar with about multi-game athlete, Bo Jackson.

Vincent Edward “Bo” Jackson is a retired pro baseball and pro football player. He is one of the few athletes to be named an All-Star in two major sports, and the only one to do so in both baseball and football, making him widely considered one of the greatest athletes of all time.

Jackson is also a Heisman Trophy winner and a businessman. He created the Bo Jackson Football program, which is designed to train and educate football players of all ages and skill levels. He also has the Give Me A Chance Foundation, a 501(c)3 corporation, to inspire disadvantaged minority youth to become involved in the sport of baseball by providing opportunity to train at an elite level while emphasizing a strong commitment to education. He is also advisory director in a group of investors who own The Burr Ridge Bank and Trust.

In 1989 and 1990, Jackson’s name became known beyond just sports fans through the “Bo Knows” advertising campaign, a series of advertisements by Nike, starring Jackson alongside Rock and Roll Hall of Fame musician Bo Diddley, promoting a cross-training athletic shoe named for Jackson.

After a 1991 hip injury on the field ended his football career, Jackson focused on baseball, and expanded into other pursuits, including the completion of his Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Child Development at Auburn

As he looks back on career, Jackson’s hindsight is clear on what she believes she should and should not have done to keep himself healthy.

“I struggled with it, and I played baseball through high school and college. Deion Sanders was the same way. We were two of the fortunate ones to get to the majors and stay there.”

“As you get older, you have to taper that down to what your heart is set on doing,” explains Jackson to Sports Illustrated. “The reason I did two sports was to stay out of trouble. I think a kid trying to split his time between two sports means one thing: He is going to spend all his time on the bench. The talent pool is so deep that is hard to crack that No. 1 spot just playing a single sport, yet alone two. Not trying to brag, but I came through the system at the right time. I did it constantly from junior high to high school to college to pros. That’s all I knew. I never had that gap.”