Forget seven-time champion Roger Federer’s shocking early exit from Wimbledon. His orange-soled Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour LE sneakers were booted out after just 69 minutes of on-court use. While the tournament has an all-white dress code, shoe color falls into a gray area, with many players sporting pops of colors on their tennies, and the neon orange on Federer’s Nikes matched the color of the swoosh on his T-shirt and headband. Was it the crushing loss of his carefully coordinated uniform that doomed the player in the second round?
As street-friendly as most sportswear brands insist their minimalist running shoes are, they’re still running shoes, and no amount of neon will change that. Which is where Nike (as usual) comes in. CEO and designer Mark Parker, Nike design legend Tinker Hatfield and style ambassador Hiroshi Fujiwara teamed up to deliver a new chapter in the brand’s Flyknit technology story: the Flyknit Chukka, blending the clean, modern style of the chukka boot with lightweight performance innovation.
First thing’s first: We need to talk about the name. Nike’s debut 3-D football cleat (a first for the industry) is called the Vapor Laser Talon. Sure, it sounds like three superheroes (with limited imaginations) joined forces to fight evil, but what’s in a name? Weighing a mere 5.6 ounces, the boots were designed specifically for the 40-yard dash, to enhance a player’s “zero step.” (For the uninitiated, that increases the speed of off-the-line launch, which feeds into a player’s maximum momentum.)
No one can accuse the Irish of taking themselves too seriously. We excel at poking fun at ourselves and we do so with a soupcon of self-deprecating humor and wit. But as an Irish American who lived 19 years of my life in Ireland, I am truly offended by the way the U.S. celebrates St Patrick’s Day and views Irish culture in general. It’s insulting. Our national holiday is not about celebrating our country’s supposed drinking culture; it celebrates our patron saint, the man who brought Christianity to Ireland.
In case you missed the ads or didn’t get the chance to swing by its historic St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin this year, Guinness celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2009. While such an incredible milestone is most worthy of celebration (250 years!), what is particularly remarkable from a branding perspective is that its stewards have remained steadfast to the storied stout’s ingredients, kept its brand image equally pure and never turned their back on its rich Irish heritage. To put it bluntly, Guinness has never “put a lime” in its beer.
A quarter-century after the Air Jordan appeared on the court, Michael Jordan’s name still carries weight. And his basketball shoes still have die-hard fans. In celebration of the Air Jordan’s 25th year, Jordan Brand, a division of Beaverton, OR-based Nike Inc., has unveiled the Air Jordan 2010 shoe, which will debut on the feet of today’s basketball phenom—and Team Jordan athlete—Dwayne Wade.
Approximately 500 University of Southern California students donned red togas for a 0.9 mile run to kick off awareness of the second annual Nike+ Human Race—a worldwide, multi-city event (slated for Oct. 24) celebrating the sport of running by giving runners everywhere the opportunity to run together.
Sure, millions of consumers are already shopping 24/7 via their home and office computers, but why wait until seated at a desk when you can just dial in that order of must-have gladiator sandals from your cell phone?
Lucky Magazine kicked off a flurry of cell phone–shopping related software programs this past spring, when it launched its “Lucky At Your Service” iPhone application and shoe finder. Now, others have started to ring up sales thanks to the user-friendly advancements now available in the latest mobile phones.