Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Photo Essay: Nike Takes du Nord to Manhattan & Queens

Hi, its me Bruce. Your host and editor of du Nord Futbol, Soccer, Football. Please enjoy my latest photo essay. (click on any photo to enlarge)


Late last month I had the privilege of traveling to New York City for the unveiling of not 1 but 2 new products from Nike Soccer.

The good people at Nike have taken great care of me over the past few years, and even took me with them to London in the Spring of 2010 for the unveiling of their 2010 World Cup jerseys. It was an amazing trip. (You can relive that adventure with me right here.)

This time it was going to be a big day in NYC. I was very excited! (As you can see in this photo taken at the airport by TSA.)

I arrived around midnight at our hotel, the new Mondrian Soho in lower Manhattan, and quickly ascended to the bar to meet up with some excellent fellow travelers Ben Hooper of The Original Winger and Mario.

The next day we boarded a big old bus that took us to the beginning of the event - at Nike HQ - The Perfect Strike.

And The World's Best Ball.

A secret sealed press packet was waiting for us, filled with highly classified documents and blueprints (of course not shown here for security reasons.)

Todd Smith, one of the designers of the new T90 Sietiro ball took us through the particulars. He was also showing off the new "winter" version of the ball in a specially designed shade of yellow. You can see the white version of this ball in action right now in the English Premier League, Spanish Primera Division and Italian Serie A. The yellow ball will debut soon.

Next up was Doug Wilken one of the designers of the new T90 Laser IV shoe.

The science behind these things is ridiculously in-depth. Who knew so much could go into just a shoe for kicking a ball. Blew me away.

After some delicious refreshments we got back on the bus and headed across the Hudson River to Queens, and the oldest soccer field in NYC, the fabled Met Oval! So cool!

The park sits right in the middle of a neighborhood with houses pressed right up against it on 3 sides. We walked into a great mock dressing room all laid out with full gear for each of us, like we were pros! We got suited up for battle and hit the field.

The bright lights and green (fake grass) pitch made for a thrilling vision.

At some point we were split into 2 teams for a full field 11 v 11 game complete with a referee. It was quite the experience. I decided to do something I had never done before and that was pull on the keepers shirt and gloves and guard my teams net.

3 goals by my talented teammates and 5 lucky saves by me later we were victorious 3-0! My first clean sheet! (all pun intended)

As for the shoes and the ball, let me say that I don't think I have ever played a soccer game with better gear.

My measure for a good shoe is how my feet feel at the end, and as I was walking off I realized that my feet did not hurt AT ALL, and the shoes felt so light, yet firm, that I thought I wasn't even wearing a shoe with cleats on the bottom. Frankly amazing.

The ball was even better. The touch, feel and bounce were right on. Even a neanderthal like me had control. Kicking that thing around was effortless. A true joy to play a game with.

After such a great experience everyone had sweaty ear to ear grins!

We ended our trip to the Oval with a big group photo of everyone at the event.

Finally we boarded our bus one more time to hit Manhattan again for a rousing night of drinks and food at the Irish pub Slainte.

I can't thank my gracious hosts, Cindy, Jacie and Tim from Nike enough for showing me such a great experience.

I also need to thank Jeff Carvalho and photographer Robert Wunsch at Highsnobiety, and the Nike staff for sharing some of their images with me for this write up. Theirs are the good quality ones, compared to my stop-n-snaps.


Blogger kebmodee said...

I've played many a game at the oval for my club Barnstonworth Rovers. It's far and away my favorite field in the city. Moreover, every match I've ever played there (~10), I've won amazingly enough. And I love how it's tucked away and hard to find.

11:30 AM  
Anonymous jamesey said...

what size shoe does nudord wear?

3:51 PM  
Blogger brucio said...

Lucky 13 of course!

4:28 PM  
Blogger brucio said...

Hey Kebmodee

thanks for the great story
its what makes me love the game so much
i remember as a kid always hearing people talk about old baseball fields this way, or a mythical basketball court
and i always thought it was special

it was very cool being at the Met Oval


4:30 PM  
Anonymous mensajes claro said...

Its what makes me love the game so much.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Mark McGuire said...

Great essay! Brings back memories of soccer on Grandma McGuire's front yard. Mark

10:28 PM  
Blogger brucio said...

How cool is it when your cousin shows up to remind you of the days of old at the farm!!

Hey Mark - I don't remember that at all, but I have a terrible memory (thats why I write these stories down.) Thanks for the note. I enjoy it.

8:23 AM  

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