I've been very fortunate to work with some awesome clients in my career thus far, among them is Nike's Jordan Brand. I grew up in the 90's in what I like to consider the golden era of sneaker culture, this golden era was led by none other then the Air Jordan sneaker. I've been a sneaker head since my first pair of Jordan's in the 6th grade, so you can imagine how excited I was to finally visit the Nike campus.
It's always the times when I'm alone...in a city I've never been to before, that I realize how blessed I am to do what I do for a living. I've been loyal to my art ever since I was a kid, it follows and I lead, all I have to do is believe (corny, but very true). You have to understand, I use to read the back of my Nike boxes before I went to sleep as a kid, the back read "Nike: Beaverton, Oregon, USA" growing up in NYC, that might as well read Mars. I threw my headphones on, tilted my fitted and jumped on the train to Beaverton.
I got off the train, and jumped on a Nike shuttle that drove me to the campus. After a long drive way, you get to the pearly gates of sneaker heaven, lol. I had to take a pic at the entrance for all my peeps back in NYC. This place is huge and majestic, I felt like I got dropped off at Professor Xavier's school for the gifted.
On my way to the Michael Jordan building I pass the Bo Jackson building, it's like my childhood memories full of Nike commercials are all playing at the same time, I mean... this is where BO KNOWS! was born!!! The inside houses a huge Basketball court which is where most NIke basketball commercials or filmed.
I walked a little more, passing Nike employees that where all rocking rare Nike Air Roshes and Retro J's. I never went on campus orientations when picking out a college, but this is what I imagine that feeling like. I was straight up a kid in awe of every detail. I hit this huge lake in the middle of the campus, surrounded by all the Nike buildings, Japanese garden, and several soccer fields, football fields and tennis courts.
The Nike campus isn't just corporate, it's a fully functional sports complex where athletes try out all the latest products, I got to take in a little bit of a Woman's soccer game that was going on. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't waiting for some Brandi Chastain action to commence, lol. My Pops would be very happy to know that there was a huge Bronze statue of Ronaldo by the soccer field, Goooooooooaaaaaaaaalll!!!!!
The buildings are adorned with these full color banners of all of Nike's athletes, past and present. The MJ banner is the only one in all red, love it! For my LA peeps, you'll be happy to know that Kobe was right next to MJ.
I had to stop in my tracks when I got to the MJ building, I mean this is where it all goes down, no matter where things are outsourced, they are designed here! At this point I linked up with my art director at Jordan Brand and went upstairs to the design floor where it all goes down. NO cameras allowed of course, but it was awesome to meet some of the artist and execs behind the brand. Some of the designers had stuff on their desks that I had designed for Jordan brand in the past, which was awesome to see. I got to see how they picked out patterns, fabrics, styles and fits. I'm not exaggerating when I say there were Jordans everywhere! Jordan brand is an awesome place to work and despite all the revisions and notes that designers go through in the process of making one shoe design, I bet they're pretty proud to be part of such an awesome brand.
I took one last picture in the lobby before I left, it was one of the most inspiring and humbling experiences I've recently had. You see, I wasn't just there on a tour, I was there meeting up with an art director I've had the pleasure of working with remotely since I lived in NYC. I give this art life my all and it never steers me wrong, not everyone makes it, but if you don't bust your ass....you don't stand a chance. The Mets hat came with me on this trip because I had to make sure that everyone who reads this post, knows that Queens was in the building...the MICHAEL JORDAN BUILDING!!!