With the sporting events taking place in Summer 2016 including the US Open, NBA Finals, Olympic trials, the Euro Championships, Wimbledon and the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympic Games taking place this summer, Nike has launched the concept and product line known as ‘The Summer of Sport’. Not only am I having the incredible opportunity to witness the making and storytelling behind this concept, but as a Nike intern, I have the unique experience of truly living out this idea of the summer of sport. With so many big sporting events taking place in such a short amount of time, Nike is looking to highlight the special moments of each of their professional athletes to help make every moment count and perform at the best of their ability.
As a Nike Intern, I have often heard many of the employees refer to us as the celebrities on campus. While at first I thought this was nothing more than clever sarcasm, as I have learned, interns have access to many opportunities that the full time employees do not. One of these opportunities has come in the form of ‘lunch and learns’ as well as speaker series. During these events we are able to hear from a range of different individuals sharing knowledge and future innovation to come throughout Nike. This past week on Thursday July 7th, in honor of the US Olympic trials, we were able to hear from Pri Shumate who is the Senior Director of Global Brand Marketing for the Olympics. In this exciting speaker series, we got to learn about Nike’s brand strategy for the upcoming Olympics games in Rio de Janeiro. As not only a student athlete myself, but also someone with a true love for sports and the athlete, it gave me chills to hear and see the stories behind Nike’s Unlimited videos that were released earlier this summer on some of their top athletes like Serena Williams and Allyson Felix. If you have not already watched these videos, go check them out on YouTube. They are truly inspired by the athlete and for the athlete.
Along with this concept of The Summer of Sport, I have been truly blessed with the ability to live out my own summer of sport during my six weeks in Oregon thus far. While some of you may be thinking this is due to the access of Nike’s multiple athletic facilities at the World Headquarters including the Michael Johnson Track right outside of my office, you would be mistaken. Even though this has been an incredible resource that I have most certainly been making good use of so far for my own training as well as participating in intermural sports teams, it is not quite what I was referring to. This past weekend it makes me absolutely giddy to share that I had the extreme pleasure of getting to cross some serious milestones off of my bucket list. The first and most exciting of which was attending day #8 of the Track and Field Olympic trials held just 2 hours away at the Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, OR.
I wish someone would pinch me because I still feel as though it was a dream! Although in reality for me, it really was a dream. A dream come true that is! When I found out that I would be in Oregon during the same time as the Track and Field Olympic Trials, it was an occasion that I could not possibly let pass me by. After sitting through what seemed to be never ending traffic to get there with my roommate Rachel Ward and another friend from the internship, Max Parker, I got to catch the end of women’s pole vault where Jenn Suhr made the Olympic standard qualifying here a spot on Team USA, and experience records being broken in the 200 meter dash. After day 8 concluded, the three of us got to see Nike’s experience tents set up in a grand gesture for the event to showcase Nike’s latest innovations in terms of the uniforms that will be worn be the athletes as well as the launch of the new Lunar Epic Flyknit footwear.
In addition, the second experience was attending a white water rafting trip on Sunday with my entire fellow 2016 intern class at Deschutes River. While this may not have been quite as noteworthy as attending the 2016 summer Olympic track and field trials, it was still an experience I will never forget. Much like in life, that two hour ride down the river certainly had its ups and its downs from the calm serene moments to the rapid waves that would hit you right in the face or knock you clear out of your raft. Yet also in life and as I have learned during my own summer of sport here at Nike, you can always rely on your team to pull back to safety and with relentless effort and teamwork, you can always continue forward knowing that no matter what happens everything will turn out fine in the end.
As always, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude for all of those who have been following along my journey so far this summer. As we refer to it in Nike lingo, we must always keep it tight. Therefore, it is important to note that the words that I share in this blog are of my own opinions and do not reflect that of my internship sponsor.
I’m a senior at the University of Arizona in the Retailing and Consumer Sciences major with a minor in Fashion Retailing. I’m also a full time student athlete competing in the pole vault, a member of the TJLC’s Student Advisory Board and a student leader for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. This summer I will be a Merchandising intern for the Jordan brand of Nike in Beaverton, OR. I’m so excited for it!