Questioning Nike Soccer….

Thank you to all who helped contribute to our questions for Nike Soccer.

Baby EJ: Member of Nike's Project-40

Here are the questions that TSG and you submitted to Nike:

TSG Proper:

1) What role does Nike Soccer feel they inhabit–both in their eyes and in the eyes of the American sports fan–in growing and developing the sport in mainstream America? Do they feel they have a “critical” or “non-critical” role? Qualify.

1b) What is Nike’s position on it’s past involvement in Project-40? Will it consider such program support again for similar programs?

2) Where does “soccer” sit as an initiative in the Nike pecking order? Below basketball obviously, but above swimming? curling? How does Nike evaluate their effort level (products, advertising, events, etc.) around a sport? Merely on market size and a financial model or are there other considerations?

3) While we spoke about Nike’s typical advertising efforts–one of our favorite articles on the future of advertising invokes Nike–one notion that TSG maintains is that branded advertisers are needed to support soccer broadcasts in the United States that haven’t necessarily reached the critical broadcast ratings levels necessary to appeal to those advertisers yet. Putting the chicken before the egg so to speak. Would Nike play a role in this or do they already?

4) How is the Nike Soccer relationship structured with US Soccer? Is it annual or multi-year? What is the primary deal points or driving foci behind the partnership? How are the players involved in the official relationship? Offer what you can.

TSG community:

Nike Soccer and future soccer growth:

1) I’d like to hear Nike’s strategic assessment of the US Soccer market – their take on future growth and trends etc and what their plans are to “grow” the market in terms of both soccer literati and the sleep walking rest of the population. What do they see as the key factors critical to success…maybe too much of a business angle, but perhaps an interesting insight from a key commercial player in the market.

USMNT USA Men’s Soccer Kit(s)


1) Why does the current USMNT jersey cost $70 when it is made out of recycled materials? How does this compare with past price points versus materials?

Design Process:

2)  Question for Nike….I’m just wondering about the process. How is it collaborative? Are they pitching a bunch of concepts? Does US Soccer come to them with a concept and then Nike puts its signature on it? Did the US players/coaches have any say in the jersey look or was it all a surprise?or does Nike come up with several designs and USSF chooses which one they like best? Or does Nike dictate what the jersey will be within a set of requirements sent by the USSF? More transparency here please.


3) Does the US ever want to work towards a constant Jersey motif beyond simply color choice? See Czech Rep, Argentina, Brazil.

4) It seems like Nike more conservative with designs (ie, you rarely get a flavor of the month type of kit). Is this part of a conscious effort or just perception on my part? Most of the other national team gear has minimal national branding, why does the USA kit have larger national name (“U.S.A” on the back of the warm-up jacket) branding?

5) What was the inspiration for the sash design? Why such an abrupt change from the “thinstripe” jerseys.

6) Have you ever come up with a jersey design that was shot down by US Soccer? If so, do you mind sharing or at least describing it?

Is this recylable?

7) My biggest question is why does a kit made from 8 recycled plastic bottles to be greener come in a plastic bottle? It probably won’t if we purchase one from Nike or Eurosport, but handing them out at the kit launch like that smacks of irony. Comments


8) Can you ask them why I always get blisters on my ankles when I wear total 90’s?

9) Why doesn’t Phil Knight come out with USA edition t90s? They should have 23 different designs.


We’ll let you know what we get back.

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by stevedubyapdx on 2010/03/16 at 11:29 AM

    To answer the first part of question #5:

    The new US jerseys from Nike are obviously inspired by the 1950 World Cup victory over England — here’s the photos of those jerseys —

    As long as we’re looking back at ancient US kits, check out these two shots of the 1930 US team :


  2. Posted by KMac on 2010/03/16 at 12:16 PM

    Thanks for including my questions!


  3. Thanks for including mine as well, especially since I was being a snarky asshat, but I really would love to see and hear Nike’s response to it.


  4. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/03/16 at 8:26 PM

    Does the USA have a nickname for the team?


  5. Posted by McSqwalms on 2010/03/23 at 8:16 PM

    Hey I realize I am way late, but here is something that really should be brought to Nike’s attention: In the Niketown store in Seattle, there is a considerable merchandising preference shown to the Brazilian soccer team over the US’s. Both mannequins and the entire front table were market Brazil, while the US is shown no preference and is even marginalized to the very edge of their soccer section. I was told by an employee that this was a nation-wide merchandising policy. The front windows often display soccer players from other nations, but not Americans (except for the US women’s who are fairly represented). Why aren’t they promoting a player like Donovan instead of Pato? As an American company and kit manufacturer, doesn’t Nike have a responsibility to at least equally market the US in the US? I am well aware that Nike has for sometime been a driving force behind US Soccer through their support, but showing preferential treatment to Brazil is a step backwards. Please contact Nike and let them know that this is unacceptable. Thank you for any consideration in this matter.


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