In his story A Chronicle of Doing It: Nike and Destruction Kyle Beachy (an assistant professor of English and Creative Writing at Chicago’s Roosevelt University) rolls through the history of Nike and skateboarding pointing out the obvious dichotomy between corporate cobbling and the core skateboarding market along the way.
Here’s a sample:
I submit that Grant Taylor is one of perhaps three skaters recognizable more by his shoe sponsor than board company. It is the same sponsor who weathered the PR nightmare of sweatshop injustice, elbowed themselves into golf and soccer, supports SOPA, and might, though they have no reason to, someday manufacture their own skateboards. Because why not. The same sponsor whose strategy will clear away the clutter of poorly- and skater-run, middling footwear companies, the inept and frail and upstart alike, acting as our free market’s grand systematic broom. Whatever Nike’s next step is, it will be, like Grant Taylor, bigger and faster. We will ignore the rubber gloves and hear the parrot’s squawk as our own. Bigger, faster, bigger, bigger, bigger.
The aforementioned quote is in fact the conclusion to the piece, but read the whole story anyway because Beachy pretty much covers every angle of the Nike vs. Core discussion and ends up where we all do: with the realization that the winning brands are the ones who do it better than everyone else. And while it sometimes sucks to admit that, it is so true that we’re almost embarrassed even mentioning it.
[Link: The Classical]