Nike’s Hyper Elite Platinum Uniforms

25 01 2012

Nike has fused low uniform weight with environmental conservation. Who isn’t going ‘green’ these days? In an increasingly critical and informed society, the pressure is on companies to practice social responsibility.

A company’s ability to lighten its environmental footprint resonates with customers. People want great products, but many are placing value on how those products are made. Another good example of that came from a Nike event I attended this morning for their Hyper Elite Platinum college basketball uniforms.

Within the bowels of the Hudson Hotel on NYC’s Westside, Nike unveiled why these uniforms are unique: they’re the lightest basketball uniforms ever made, according to them. The unis clock in at less than a pound – five ounces for the shorts and roughly the same for the jerseys. Nike said a pound of weight was removed from their previous college basketball uniforms. Other design techniques, such as laser cutting holes in the side panels of the jerseys and shorts and removing stitching in favor of bonded seams, cuts out miniscule amounts of weight.

The jerseys are made with at least 96 percent recycled polyester with 12 plastic bottles, on average, comprising the material. The shorts are 100 percent recycled polyester and are made from 11 plastic bottles, on average. Nike said that 440 million plastic bottles that would have made their way to landfills were diverted from there to their manufacturers to create these uniforms. There is your social responsibility. Improve the environment and (hopefully) make a great product at the same time.

Rather than bore you with more tech and design chatter, I figured I’d display a group of thumbnails. This way, you can see what the jerseys look like. I’m interested in what you think. Does a company practicing social responsibility matter to you? Does it affect the way you perceive them? Are you more interested in buying products from companies that do something good for the environment? And what do you think of the design of these uniforms?

                                                  

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Under Armour Honors Gary Williams

24 01 2012

Nike is to Oregon as Under Armour is to Maryland, right? Uhh, not quite, although UA is making the connection with their local major university that Nike has established with its local college. UA’s dedication to making Maryland’s football team a test lab for its uniform designs and functions garnered attention this past college football season.

UA is further extending its relationship with Maryland to basketball by helping honor former men’s coach, Gary Williams. Williams retired from coaching college ball last May after a 33-year career, 22 of which came with the Terps. He’ll be honored January 25th at Maryland before their game against Duke. The university will name its court at Comcast Center by calling it Gary Williams Court, and Under Armour is finishing out the dedication with three shoes in honor of the coach.

Maryland players will wear the Bloodline and Juke while the Funk will be given to Williams in a commemorative box. Heck of a design job by UA to dress up these kicks. This isn’t a huge deal, but it’s one more way for Under Armour to deepen its association with the university that they probably hope becomes as identifiable with them as Oregon is with Nike.

(From L-R: Bloodline, Juke, Funk, Funk in the box)

     





NCAA title game a good one; WeightWatchers.com golf article

6 04 2011

First up is my view on the title game, which I though was a much better game than most others. The contest was absolutely castigated on Twitter last night. Butler and UCONN shot abysmally, and the game was eerily reminiscent of those Knicks-Heat dogfights from the late ’90s; only this game had maybe five or six future NBA players – maybe. Basketball fans don’t like missed shots and stagnant offense, though, and last night’s game had a lot of each. Best I can tell, it was considered boring, slow-paced and offensively lackluster. I prefer to think of the game in a different way.

I love great defensive battles, which is how I viewed the game. I wrote on Twitter that while fans could criticize last night’s game, they wouldn’t call a high-powered offensive game a bad contest, even if the defenses were technically playing like crap. So why is it that a game is considered to be a dud when defenses are dominating the offenses?

What makes this more confusing to me is that sports fans, above all else, value effort and tireless play from athletes. Fans go crazy if they sense an athlete isn’t trying hard. Last night’s championship game was one of the hardest-played basketball games I’ve ever watched. The players were killing themselves, especially on the defensive end. How many open looks did either offense get, specifically in the first half?

There were only ten turnovers and three missed free throws in the first half. Nearly every shot seemed to be contested. The play got messier in the second half when Butler missed four or five too many chippies and UCONN used their athleticism to make Butler look slow and ragged. Yet what mattered most to me was that both teams were leaving it all on the floor. The execution might not have been there, but the teams were playing as if was the last game they’d ever play. To me, that matters a hell of a lot more than the ball snapping the net when determining whether or not it was a good game.

*****

All right, I wrote an article for WeightWatchers.com about how to improve a golf swing. I used to play at least four times per week in high school in Seeley Lake, Mont. I played quite often, at least a couple times per week, during college in Bozeman, Mont. Now that I live in New York City, I get to play just about only when I go home to Montana for a couple weeks every July.

I am determined to play at least a few rounds at various courses in the NYC metropolitan area, but it’s not an easy task. Traveling takes time; it’s inconvenient as hell to travel on the subway with a golf bag. But if I need to remember how to swing a club, I trust that this story will help me.

Click on the link below to read the story:

Improving Your Golf Swing