One of the great perks of working in the soccer industry is getting to make the pilgrimage to Nike’s global headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon a couple of times a year. It sounds like something that would get old but there is so much sports going on it never does.
365.WorldSoccerShop decided to take our readers along for a quick peak inside the sprawling campus where many of the soccer cleats and apparel along with gear for other sports is conceptualized, designed, and marketed.
Nike’s HQ is much more than the traditional office space. It is immediately evident why it is referred to as a campus with well-maintained lawns, too many buildings to count on 2 hands, 2 soccer fields, a tennis court, gym, putting green, basketball court, a seemingly never ending running trail, and more.
But let’s look at some of the soccer, currently there is a tribute to the Starting 11 with key moments in the history of soccer and Nike.
We were in town to talk Women’s World Cup 2015 so it was only fitting to flashback to the U.S. women’s national team’s last WWC title in 1999 when Brandi Chastain ripped off her jersey after kicking the winning penalty kick. The sports bra moment is iconic moment in U.S. sports history not just soccer.
And of course Mia Hamm was the lethal finisher for the Stars and Stripes during her 17-year career. She netted 158 goals for the national team, a record the stood for many years until Abby Wambach recently surpassed it, and 275 caps.
Nike was a huge player at the 2014 World Cup. The swoosh supplied the kits for 10 of the 32 teams, the most by any brand, German midfielder Mario Gotze hit the winning goal in the World Cup Final in his Nike Magista, the latest innovation in cleats by Nike, and it was not just Gotze who turned to Nike as 53% of all the players in Brazil wore Nike cleats with them producing 76 of the 171 goals.
But it is not all soccer. With WorldSoccerShop being based in Alabama, we could not help but notice and give a quick smile to the Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant plaque. ROLL TIDE. The legendary coach helped the Crimson Tide to 6 national titles while head coach at the Capstone from 1958-1982.
Many North Carolina fans probably think the Michael Jordan Building is the basketball dorm for the Tar Heels team (and for all we know it may be) but the one above is part of the Nike campus. The buildings are named after athletes and it is not hard to figure out why Jordan has his name on one.
Not sure why…have you heard of the Nike Air? The basketball shoes didn’t have the ubiquitous Michael Jordon silhouette logo but were known as the Air Jordan’s and designed for him. This was the style the Chicago Fire guard wore during the 1985 season. The original was a red/black shoe which got Jordan in hot-water with the league since the NBA required predominantly white shoes. Every time Jordan stepped on the court with the originals he was slapped with a $5,000 fine. A cheap marketing cost all things considered…and we doubt Sir Jordan was made to pay it.
But we end back out at the soccer field. Overlooking the field is Ronaldo. The ‘original Ronaldo’ is one of the greatest soccer player of all-time. The Brazilian striker was on the roster when El Selecao won the 1994 World Cup and was the go-to player when they made the 1998 World Cup final and then was the difference when Brazil won the 2002 World Cup. He scored 62 goals in 98 matches for the national team.
Have you been to the Nike HQ in Beaverton? What were your memorable moments?
WorldSoccerShop has a great selection of official Nike gear.