Category Archives: Nike
Wright Thompson with an inside private look at the life of Bobcats owner Michael Jordan at the age of 50:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Five weeks before his 50th birthday, Michael Jordan sits behind his desk, overlooking a parking garage in downtown Charlotte. The cell phone in front of him buzzes with potential trades and league proposals about placing ads on jerseys. A rival wants his best players and wants to give him nothing in return. Jordan bristles. He holds a Cuban cigar in his hand. Smoking is allowed.
“Well, s—, being as I own the building,” he says, laughing.
Back in the office after his vacation on a 154-foot rented yacht named Mister Terrible, he feels that relaxation slipping away. He feels pulled inward, toward his own most valuable and destructive traits. Slights roll through his mind, eating at him: worst record ever, can’t build a team, absentee landlord. Jordan reads the things written about him, the fuel arriving in a packet of clips his staff prepares. He knows what people say. He needs to know, a needle for a hungry vein. There’s a palpable simmering whenever you’re around Jordan, as if Air Jordan is still in there, churning, trying to escape. It must be strange to be locked in combat with the ghost of your former self.
Smoke curls off the cigar. He wears slacks and a plain white dress shirt, monogrammed on the sleeve in white, understated. An ID badge hangs from one of those zip line cords on his belt, with his name on the bottom: Michael Jordan, just in case anyone didn’t recognize the owner of a struggling franchise who in another life was the touchstone for a generation. There’s a shudder in every child of the ’80s and ’90s who does the math and realizes that Michael Jordan is turning 50. Read the rest of this entry
Nike takes over from Reebok as official NFL licensed uniform and team merchandise supplier; what it all means for teams and fans:
Via Paul Lukas of ESPN Playbook
A year ago, football fans were all aflutter — some with excitement, some with dread — about Nike getting set to take over the NFL’s uniform contract for the 2012 season. But a certain uniform columnist had the temerity to suggest that a Nike-outfitted NFL probably would look pretty much the same as a Reebok-outfitted NFL.
Twelve months later, a certain uniform columnist doesn’t want to say he told you so, but, um, he told you so. Aside from the Seahawks, who were put into the Nike centrifuge and emerged with a predictably eccentric costume, the rest of the league still looks like the NFL, at least for now.
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Advertising Age profiles Nike’s creative director Martin Lotti who oversaw its London 2012 Marketing strategy & new Volt craze:
You probably don’t know Martin Lotti. But if you watched the Olympics, you are definitely familiar with his handiwork.
He’s the man behind those shoes — the beautifully crafted, incandescent kicks that whizzed by on the feet of 400 Olympic athletes, including USA’s Ashton Eaton and Trey Hardee, Great Britain’s Mo Farah and France’s Renaud Lavillenie, enabling Nike to capture the Olympic gold in ambush marketing.
Mr. Lotti, 37, is Nike’s global creative director for the Olympics — an interesting title, since Nike wasn’t an official London 2012 sponsor. An industrial designer by education, he has been at Nike for 15 years, adding the “Olympic” aspect to his title just two years ago, while the brand’s preparations for the London games were already underway. His role is to focus on the Nike products that 3,000 Olympic athletes wear on and off the field, from design to deployment.
Painting Nike’s Flyknit shoe Volt, as that vivid neon-green-meets-highlighter-yellow color is called, was Mr. Lotti’s way to create a kind of “Team Nike.” Before London 2012, the brand matched the color of the shoe to the color of the individual athlete’s uniforms. It looked pretty, but it blended in. This year, hundreds of athletes across different national federations wore the same color, what Mr. Lotti called “the easiest way” to make a splash.