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Nike's flagship school meets its flagship shoe
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PostWysłany: Wto 15:24, 08 Lip 2014    Temat postu: Nike's flagship school meets its flagship shoe

Kenny Farr has worked as an equipment manager limited to Oregon, and without another program for comparison he acknowledges his sense of normalcy have been warped like a rubber sole. Last season Oregon football chose its uniforms from a pool of eight jerseys, eight pants, six helmets, seven cleats and six socks. Then add helmet decals and gloves. Finally, multiply that by about 100 players. Farr, now answerable for solely football, is a master of spreadsheets.

"I guess I enjoy the organized chaos of it," he says, "If you may had one helmet it feels like it could be kind of ... boring."

It wasn't always like this. He didn't always have a row of NFL helmets on his shelf signed by everyone from Ducks in the pros to Ray Lewis and Howie Long. Cornerback Darrelle Revis - who played at the University of Pittsburgh -- once shipped a New York Jets helmet west in thanks for receiving one of many "care packages" Oregon sends its alums who make an active NFL roster, in addition to special VIPs.

Farr found Eugene from Grants Pass in 1997 and found his way into the equipment room as a student manager. It was only one year earlier that Knight asked his famous question of football coach Mike Bellotti: "What do we will need to go to the next level?" It was only three seasons after Oregon wore a mix of Riddell and Nike uniforms en route to its first Rose Bowl berth in 37 years.

Knight and Oregon ultimately reshaped the program with glass, steel, speed and the spread offense. But with rubber, leather and air cushioning, the Ducks have gone a step further, creeping to the forefront of the imagination of sneaker collectors around the world, some of whom have likely never watched a single Ducks game.

Looking beyond Bowerman's waffle trainers and the typical, retail sneakers Nike has co-opted into Duck colors, Oregon's recent history of customized player-edition Nikes began in 2003. Home white and road green versions of LeBron James' second signature shoe were instant hits.

"That kind of exploded," DePaula says.
It had not been until 2009, however, that Nike's Air Jordan model, its flagship shoe, met Oregon, its flagship school.

The idea's genesis is hazy but what's clear is Knight, former head coach Chip Kelly and Tinker Hatfield -- Nike's VP of Creative Concepts, an original Jordan designer and a former letter-winning Duck pole vaulter -- were the driving forces. Now, Hatfield designs the Oregon Jordans largely by himself.

Though the designs for every Jordan are intended at least two decades ago, the updated colors and accents made them unlike any previous iteration. Each time the sneakers are revealed to the players, two things happen: They go wild and Farr's popularity skyrockets.

"My phone fills up those days with (Ducks) in the NFL, 'How should we get some?'" Farr says. "For the right people and former players we want to take care of them but there are a lot of calls from people who are friends of guys and it's like, I can't do that. It's nothing personal against them but it is not my stuff to give you. There has to be a line drawn."

The Oregon Jordans will most likely never be released at retail and with such limited supply comes delirious demand. DePaula says he's seen pairs of recent Oregon-edition Foamposite Ones that retail for $250 selling for $700, and they're available in select stores. For a rare UO Jordan, price can stretch into the thousands. Ten Oregon Jordans were recently on eBay with asking prices exceeding $3,000.

Oregon's amount of security over its Jordans stockpile can feel akin to a government's watchful eye over a valuable arsenal. To lessen players' temptation to sell, the Ducks issue Jordans sometimes only for a certain game before requiring the shoes checked in until Nike and Oregon would like them worn again. Shoes also have identifying details such as a player's number often sewn in, though motivated sellers can simply cover the marks with tape, for example, when advertising them online.
Even Jordans that celebrities and special Nike athletes receive are often logged.
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