And now for your daily dose of Damn-I’m-old pills: This year marks the 20th anniversary of Nike’s famous “Bo Knows” ad campaign. Yeah, that was TWENTY years ago. You remember Bo Jackson in those TV spots, dominating on the football field, in the hockey rink, even on the Indy car track. But what you may have forgotten is what product was actually being pushed. That would be the original Nike Air Trainer, the first “cross trainer” sneaker to make an impact on the market.
Two decades later, Nike has reinvented the icon. This week I’ve been in Newport Beach, Calif., for the release of the Nike Trainer 1, the company’s next big thing in performance kicks.
For this two-day event, Nike brought in Brandon Roy and Amar’e Stoudemire; NFL stars Troy Polamalu, Adrian Peterson and Larry Fitzgerald; and Olympic decathlon gold medalist Bryan Clay. Yesterday’s schedule at the University of California-Irvine consisted of a roundtable panel discussion with the athletes, some 1-on-1 interview time, a rundown and Q&A of the Trainer 1 sneaker itself with its designers, and an outdoor workout session where the pros trained with some selected UCI students under the direction of Nike’s top trainers.
Still recovering from his season-ending eye surgery, Amar’e was wearing thick black-rimmed glasses most of the day, looking rather professorial. Throw in the fact that he hasn’t had a haircut in a minute, and Amar’e had kind of a Cornel West thing going. B-Roy was still in his rest period before gearing up to perhaps play for Team USA this summer as they train for the 2010 world championships in Turkey. (Or not; Roy was well aware that this is the summer where he can negotiate a long-term extension with the Blazers.) I’ll have more from the event to come.
The Nike Trainer 1 is available in stores July 1, with a suggested retail of $90. For more info, go to www.nike.com.