Portions of the Internet are buzzing about some images of Nike’s concept for NFL uniforms, which the company get the rights to produce in 2012. Thanks to a post in The Baltimore Sun’s forum, there’s been alotofreaction, and the question is, are folks reacting to Nike’s work or the work of some enterprising Photoshoppers.
If other forums are to be believed, again, this is the Internet we’re talking about, these “concept car” uniforms are Photoshop reproductions, variants of existing designs, and this post over at a FootballsFuture.com forum is supposedly ground zero, courtesy of poster “El ramster.”
My friends made these! just a concept more to come later
Considering the NFL’s draconian approach to the uniforms and the associated rules, it’s hard to see Nike getting so much leeway to completely alter the look of so many teams. That being said, some of the concepts, which are based on Nike’s Pro Combat series, are pretty cool. Some, on the other hand are not. Here are a couple of hits and a couple of misses, too:
While it probably won’t generate the discussion LeBron’s did, Wade just isn’t the polarizing figure James is, it’s still pretty cool in a Super Hero/Spy Movie kind of way. It’s also taking a serial approach, which means there’s more to come.
Considering the subject matter, I wouldn’t be surprised if the future installments have Wade dispatching foes who are wearing opposing team jerseys.
I’m not a LeBron follower/worshiper or anything like that. In fact, I’ve been pretty critical of King James since he quit against the Celtics in the playoffs. The unnecessary “Taking My Talents to South Beach” thing on ESPN didn’t help matters at all. That being said, there’s something about LeBron’s new Nike commercial that I like very much.
Sure, the self-awareness bit is, undoubtedly, part of Nike’s marketing machine plan, and I’m sure LeBron’s words do absolutely nothing for the city of Cleveland, but to me, it works.
Of course, the “Rise” commercial could go a long way towards fueling the LeBron haters as well, something With Leather points out quite nicely, but for those of us less jaded — or those of us who aren’t as committed to tearing down everything LeBron does — it works.
Just ask Twitter, because from what I’ve seen, the overall reaction is a lot like this:
“I love the commercial with @KingJames Check this video out…”
“Nike LeBron James “Rise” Commercial (MUST WATCH!)”
While the forgiveness for the Summer of LeBron may be slow going, and with Cleveland, it may never happen, the self-awareness, even if it’s manufactured by Nike, works. At least for me.
So yeah. Word comes out that LeBron’s planning a whirlwind tour when he becomes an official free agent, visiting interested teams, while sending the hopes of each city he visits skyrocketing. Considering he represents perhaps the most desirable free agent in the history of sports — not just basketball — all of this is understandable. It’s also understandable that LeBron wants to be wooed, considering he didn’t get to experience the recruiting whirlwind while he was in high school.
A point about that, however: Each high school student is allowed something like five expenses-paid recruiting visits to college campuses. Just because James knew he was going to the NBA didn’t mean he couldn’t take advantage of the recruiting process.
Be that as it may, it’s clear LeBron is using his unrestricted free agent designation to enjoy the wooing process now. My issue is with how LeBron plans to celebrate each visit: By releasing a special edition Nike shoe for each city he visits. According to sources quoted by Fanhouse, each pair of shoes will have a date on them, “celebrating” LeBron’s visit. And with that, folks, we now have a brand-new definition for the term “overkill.”
Maybe even for the word “arrogant,” too.
So what about the teams that don’t win the “LeBron Free Agency Extravaganza?” Will the shoes then represent a consolation prize? There’s a speculative article in Esquire saying LeBron is in a position to join Art Modell as one of the most hated people in Cleveland if he leaves. How would the unfortunate cities feel about LeBron’s shoes after he signs with another team, leaving a reminder of what could’ve been in the way of special edition shoes?
Perhaps James is trying to cultivate a “hated opponent” image, because issuing a shoe that will ultimately remind fans he picked a different team could generate bad vibes that linger for the rest of his playing career.
The World Cup is only 21 days away from kicking off, and Nike has thrown down the advertising gauntlet, giving perhaps one of their best commercials ever. The slogan for Nike’s World Cup campaign is “Write the Future,” and the extended video offers an accurate glimpse at how the rest of the world views the Beautiful Game and the reactions involved with such a passionate following.
Wayne Rooney’s, in particular, is right on the money. The mood of a nation lives and dies with each England possession.
Curious, however, is the inclusion of Brazilian star Ronaldinho. The dribbling wizard has been left off Brazil’s 23-man roster. To borrow an idea from USA Today, the only way Ronaldinho gets to South Africa is if one of the roster members gets hurt. Nevertheless, the reaction to his dribbling wizardry in Nike’s commercial is just about note-perfect. Fitting, really, considering how well Nike nailed it.
…Thanks to the modelling skills of Playboy model, Danielle Fornarelli. Much like their pictorial of the US Swim Team’s uniforms, Playboy does their best to bring even more beauty to the world’s most beautiful sport, and with Miss Fornarelli, Team USA’s kit has never looked better. According to reports, not only are the World Cup uniforms sexy (when Fornarelli dons them), they’re also environmentally friendly.
…jerseys made entirely from recycled polyester. Each one is produced from up to eight discarded plastic bottles sourced from landfill sites.
Sexy and ecologically friendly? That’s almost too much good news for one person to handle. Yeah, yeah. Enough with the words, give me more Danielle, right? Look no further:
You aren’t helping me get past the whole “Why I Hate Duke” disposition I’ve lived with since 1993. In fact, you’re only making it worse with the new print ads celebrating Duke’s National Championship. In fact, the Duke ad makes me feel an awful lot like this:
I’m not sure if alienating everybody but Duke fans is the best marketing strategy, but then again, Nike doesn’t care about whose fur it ruffles. They simply want us to react, just like the new Tiger Woods commercial. With that in mind, congratulations are in order to Phil Knight and his band of merry men; because people are indeed reacting — although, no one likes being reminded of the arrogance surrounding the Duke basketball program, perceived or otherwise.
In about three hours, the sports world, once again, turns itself over to the larger than life character of Eldrick “Tiger” Woods, and of course, Nike is right there, turning Tiger’s offseason of discontent into a potential marketing blitz. This time, Earl Woods, Tiger’s father, “returns” asking if his son has Woods has learned anything from his mistakes. While the latest Nike Golf offering is effort in poignancy, it would be wise to keep in mind they are doing so to separate you from your hard-earned dollars in exchange for a set of Nike golf clubs.
If Tiger’s in contention for the Masters and the green jacket as the weekend draws closer, I would expect to see this commercial about umpteen bajillion times (a bajillion = a whole freaking lot).
Perhaps Nike deserves credit for sticking by their golden goose man, but we shouldn’t be surprised their marketing department is capitalizing on Tiger’s mistakes. Granted, the commercial gives an appearance of disapproval and finger-wagging, but again, they want to sell you golf clubs, and whether or not Tiger’s star has been fractured, his presence, especially now, makes for a compelling approach.
I suppose this method is better than having Tiger celebrate his mistakes by pitching golf clubs with a bevy of scantily-clad golf hotties running around in the background. I’m thinking something along the lines of Doria Baird’s spread she did for Maxim from a few years ago.
You know? Something like this:
Then again, maybe I’m wrong. I think the Doria Baird method would’ve been filled with an illegal amount of “____ you, I’m Tiger Woods and you’re not” awesomeness that would’ve knocked the judgmental world of sports fans on its collective asses.
The voicemail version of Tiger’s commercial. Two words: ***king awesome.
All of this is proof that it’s simply Tiger’s world and we’re only living in it, like it or not. It doesn’t matter if his actions disagree with a particular moral setting. The fact that the public even cares this much — about a golfer, mind you — is all the evidence required.