Mike Trout is in his own category as a player on the field, and now he’s in elite company off of it.
Nike has created its first signature for a cleat for a player since they did with Ken Griffey Jr. The cleat is called the Nike Lunar Vapor Trout, and it’s part of an entire “Vapor Collection” of items/accessories.
The cleat, which is available as of June 20, was created with some of Trout’s insights and is lightweight and designed for speed.
Via Nike’s website:
The first signature cleat for star outfielder Mike Trout, the Nike Lunar Vapor Trout redefines the balance of speed and power in baseball and embodies the future direction of the game. Informed by Trout’s own insights, the Nike Lunar Vapor Trout is designed for the directional speed needed to steal more bases, get to more balls in the outfield, and get out of the batters box quickly. Equipped with a durable, lightweight Nike Lunarlon foam midsole for comfort, the cleat features a split Pebax speed plate for ultra-responsive movement across the field. The midsole also informs a lively aesthetic that captures the spirit of Trout’s game and Nike Vapor technology – sleek, modern, athletic, and extremely fast.
In addition to the cleat, the Vapor Collection includes sliding tights, batting gloves, a sleeve, a cap and socks.
Below is a video of Trout talking about the cleat:
You’re probably wondering how it’s possible that Trout is the first Nike player since Griffey to get his own cleat and asking about Derek Jeter. Yes, Jeter had his own cleat, too, but that was made by the Jordan Brand, not Nike specifically.
Forearm bash to Big League Stew
I don’t know about you, but “Back to the Future II” was my favorite movie in the series. Was anything better than when Marty McFly and Doc Brown go to the future and Marty goes to Cafe 80s? I think not. And was anything better than all the gizmos from the future? Not a chance.
Those hoverboards were as sick as can be. And nothing topped Marty’s shoes and outfit.
Nike already released the Back to the Future II Air Mag shoes (eccentric closer Brian Wilson was a huge fan), but those lacked the power laces that took the sneakers to the next level. Now it sounds like Nike will be introducing the power laces before long.
From an article published on Sole Collector Friday:
During an appearance at the Jordan Brand’s Flight Lab space in New Orleans earlier today, designer Tinker Hatfield was asked about the possibility of seeing power lacing next year, and his answer may surprise you.
“Are we gonna see power laces in 2015? To that, I say YES!” said Hatfield.
Heck yes. Game on. There aren’t a whole lot of “wants” I have in life, but this definitely goes to the top of the list. Let’s just hope they don’t cost four figures the way the shoes did.
LeBron James apparently isn’t a fan yet of the latest version of his own Nike shoes.
“I could wear them, but they don’t feel as great as I want them to feel,” James told ESPN.com on Thursday. “So we’re redefining them, and I feel like this next round is going to be perfect.”
James apparently is uncomfortable with the fit of the shoes, the LeBron 11, which are cut lower than previous designs. He has worn the sneakers in only two games so far, according to ESPN.com. Before Thursday night’s blowout loss to the Chicago Bulls, James addressed the shoe situation.
“I just want to be able to wear them,” James said, according to ESPN.com. “It has been a frustrating process. But obviously, I know that Nike wants to do what’s best. They’re not going to put me out there in harm’s way. So we’re redefining the shoe to fit what’s best for my foot.”
Despite James’ indifference, sales of the LeBron 11, which retail for more than $200, are up 18 percent compared to sales of his LeBron X at this time last year, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Nike has decided to pull their “Boston Massacre” T-shirts in the wake of last week’s Boston Marathon bombings.
The shirts are old and unrelated to the bombings, but the company realized they do not reflect well given the context of recent events.
“The shirts being referenced are older baseball shirts that were predominantly being sold through our factory store outlets,” Nike spokesman KeJuan Wilkins said Monday, via ESPN’s Darren Rovell. “In light of the tragedy in Boston, we took immediate action last week to remove this product from distribution.”
Per Rovell, the shirts are being removed from outlet stores and online outlets.
The shirts are navy blue and have blood splattered over white lettering that says Boston. The term “Boston Massacre” is a play on to the historical 1770 incident that is also used to describe the Yankees’ late-season sweeps of the Sox in 1978 and 2006 that contributed to the Sox missing the playoffs.
Nike may have decided to act after Eric Stangel, a producer/writer for “Late Show with David Letterman” tweeted a picture of the shirt which he came across at a Nike outlet.
“We’ve been taking them down. But somehow they keep ending up back on the rack,” a store employee told him.
Even though the shirts have nothing to do with the bombings, it’s good thinking by Nike to remove the shirts. The company also had a recent ad campaign backfire when Oscar Pistorius was charged with murder.
The gentleman in the photo that you see above is Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. He plays forward for the Charlotte Bobcats, and as many of you know he helped Kentucky win a national championship in 2012. He does not — nor did he ever — play for Middle Tennessee, Illinois or Ohio State. But that hasn’t stopped Nike from acting like he did.
As Nation of Blue pointed out, Nike posted a series of artsy posters on Twitter on Sunday to congratulate teams who made it into the tournament. For several of them, they took a photo of Kidd-Gilchrist and tweaked it so it appeared he was wearing the corresponding team’s uniform.
Nike has decided to suspend its contract with Oscar Pistorius as the sprinter is investigated for charges of attempted murder.
“Nike has suspended its contract with Oscar Pistorius. We believe Oscar Pistorius should be afforded due process and we will continue to monitor the situation closely,” the sports apparel giant said in a statement, via The Oregonian.
Pistorius also had his contract suspended by Oakley on Monday.
Nike is one of the most loyal companies to its star sports figures, so it takes something of this magnitude for them to waiver in support of an endorser. They initially stood by Joe Paterno while Penn State was exposed for the Jerry Sandusky scandal; they stood by Tiger Woods as his sex scandal unfolded; and they re-signed Michael Vick even after he served time in prison for dogfighting charges. But Nike dropped Lance Armstrong last October, and they have suspended their deal with Pistorius. It hasn’t exactly been a banner year for the swoosh in terms of endorsers.
My guess is they’re going to end up dropping him before too long; the reported evidence isn’t exactly looking good for Pistorius.
Talk about an unfortunate coincidence.
Early Thursday morning, South Afrian sprinter Oscar Pistorius, who is known in the sports world as “Blade Runner” because of his prosthetic legs, allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend after mistaking her for an intruder in his home. Pistorius has been arrested in connection with the case. Multiple sources reported that Pistorius’ girlfriend, 30-year-old model Reeva Steenkamp, is believed to have been delivering a Valentine’s Day surprise for Oscar.
The advertisement you see above appeared on Pistorius’ website before the incident occurred and has since been pulled. As you can see, it said “I am the bullet in the chamber” alongside a picture of the world famous sprinter. Of all the analogies that can be made to describe Pistorius’ remarkable story, this has to be one of the worst that Nike could have come up with. Of course, they had no way of knowing what would occur. That doesn’t make the banner any less eery.
Oakley is suing golfer Rory McIlroy and apparel giant Nike for an alleged breach of contract. The suit, which was filed in a federal court in Santa Ana, Calif., on Dec. 10, names both McIlroy and Nike as defendants.
Details of the filing are not available through the federal court’s online system, but ESPN’s Lester Munson says Oakley alleges that McIlroy violated his contract with their company by refusing to grant them the “right of first refusal” when the golfer signed a new endorsement deal with Nike.
McIlroy reportedly signed a new deal with Nike recently that has been rumored to be for over $200 million. Oakley says its contract to provide eyewear and apparel for the top golfer runs through the end of the year, and that their counteroffer to Nike was ignored.
The right of first refusal means Oakley would have a chance to match any offer that included payments to McIlroy for eyewear and/or apparel. Its offer to match Nike’s contract with McIlroy would cost them 30% of Nike’s total deal, which might be around $60 million.
Oakley reportedly is seeking an injunction that would block the contract between McIlroy and Nike. They also claim they have spent over $300,000 on a photo shoot and promotional materials for McIlroy in 2013.
Munson reports the defense will argue that an email sent from an Oakley executive to McIlroy’s agent saying, “We are out of the mix. No contract for 2013,” means Oakley forfeited its right of first refusal.
We’re guessing the sides will eventually settle for some fee.
Rory McIlroy’s contract with Titleist/Footjoy ends after the year, and there is speculation that the 23-year-old could sign a mega deal with Nike.
The Irish Times published a story on Saturday indicating that the world No. 1 golfer is likely to sign his next equipment/apparel deal with the swoosh. His agent would not comment on the speculation.
“As you are aware, Rory is under contract with Titleist,” McIlroy’s agent, Conor Ridge of Horizon Sports Management, told the Irish Times. “It is our policy not to pass comment regarding any industry speculation related to any of our players.”
A transition to Nike would make sense for McIlroy. The Northern Irishman won the US Open in record fashion in June 2011, and he took home his second major — the PGA Championship — in August. He passed $10 million in career earnings this year, and he is widely viewed as one of the most marketable and recognizable athletes in sports.
“McIlroy is the boy-next-door brand. The I-want-my-son-to-be-him brand,” Jordan Zimmerman of Zimmerman Advertising told ESPN in August. “That gives you an unbelievable opportunity with the mothers and dads and will also bring kids into golf earlier.”
Zimmerman also speculated that McIlroy could catch Tiger Woods in endorsement earnings.
The Irish Times says the deal McIlroy is expected to sign with Nike could rival the current one Tiger Woods has with the company. Tiger is 36 and hasn’t won a major since 2008. At 23, McIlroy has some of his best years ahead of him, and he seems to have replaced Tiger as the most feared golfer on tour. He could become the prime representative of Nike golf for the next decade.
McIlroy’s current endorsements include Jumeirah Group, Oakley, luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet, and Spanish bank Santander.
Photo Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
Lance Armstrong has been linked to performance-enhancing drug use for more than a decade, but Nike has remained by his side all throughout the years. According to a recent report in the NY Daily News, the sports apparel juggernaut did far more than just that.
Last week, the United States Anti-Doping Agency released 1,000 pages of evidence that claim Armstrong led an extremely sophisticated doping network. The evidence was released to explain why they stripped the seven-time Tour de France winner was stripped of his titles. As you know, Lance ended his fight against the doping accusations over the summer, which many considered to be an admission of guilt. Still, Nike continued to endorse him.
That all changed earlier this week when it was revealed that Kathy LeMond, the wife of American cyclist Greg LeMond, testified under oath in 2006 that Nike paid former Union Cycliste Internationale president Hein Verbruggen $500,000 to cover up one of Armstrong’s positive drug tests from 1999. The test at that time revealed Lance used a steroid called corticosteroids to treat saddle sores.