On Thursday, Nike and the Football Association launched the new Nike England Euro 2016 home and away kits from the heart of English football, Wembley Stadium. Thanks to Nike Football, writers William Lindsey and Nathan Hodge were able to gain a behind the scenes Nike experience, along with From the Stands writer David Moat.
Through a competition run by Nike before the release date of the new England shirts, luckily we were able to gain access and exposure to the new and exclusive content. It was clear before the event that Nike wanted to keep the overall theme quiet, to create bigger excitement and a sense of mystery. As we entered the event, we were escorted through into the main lounge by a Nike employee, and as you’d expect, the service was professional and friendly.
Feeling confused on where we were supposed to go, we made our way out onto the balcony looking out onto the sun struck, newly laid national pitch. It was at this moment we found ourselves surrounded by phones and cameras but it was evident that the focus was not on the three of us. With a shift to the left and a peak through the large crowds, excitement overtook. Sitting on the railing of the balcony, both with microphones in their hands were Danny Welbeck and Lethal Bizzle. As the other two were drooling over the prospect of meeting the two stars, I turned round to cast my eyes upon the 6’0″ figure of Arsenal defender, Callum Chambers. Amazed that we had been within such a short Radius of the three icons, they were all nice enough to take a moment of their time for their fans to grab a few photo opportunities.
Starstruck by who we had just met, we went back inside where it seemed people were still waiting for something big to happen. As we were getting some refreshments from the bar to calm our nerves, thinking the day couldn’t get any better, Soccer AM’s finest, Tubes, was standing in the corner, surrounded by a hefty amount of broadcasting cameras. With all of us being big fans of the Saturday morning show, we were all very eager to meet the man himself. Being the nice, genuine person that he is, he introduced himself to us all and again allowed us to take a photo. Obviously, as portrayed on TV, he was his energetic and crazy self, whilst being a very down to earth character.
After meeting the Soccer AM star, the Nike experience began. We were taken into the new ‘Boot Room’ displaying some of the best new football technologies. The boot room included an exclusive look at the new Mercurial Superfly, Vapor, Magista Obra, Magista Opus Hypervenom Phantom, Hypervenom Phinish, and of course, the Tiempo Legend. All these new releases are based on a white upper with varying degrees of pink, yellow, orange and green in the mix. A beautiful sight I have to say.
The day was just getting better and better. The three of us had just come from our University into suddenly being in the middle of what seemed like a dream. The finale of the day was something very special. We were escorted through the Nike speed tunnel and came to a display of the New England kits, both home and Away. After looking and admiring the kits for a few minutes we were approached by a tall man holding three white, neatly sealed boxes. It was Stokes shot stopper, Jack Butland. The fact that Butland had approached and come to speak to the three of us, caused amazement between us all. I think I speak for all three of us when I say, we felt like kids at Disneyland when you see your favourite character; speechless and astounded. Butland himself then pointed at the three items he was holding in his hand. He went on to say:
“What do you think of the new kits?”
“How would you like to be one of the first to own one?”
The 23-year-old then handed each of us a box containing the newest Nike kit. How incredible is that? We were then able to get Jack to sign the front of the box, I think I was in shock by what was happening right in front of us. Genuinely, the way Jack Butland portrayed himself was so professional, kind and friendly. We were all over the moon!
We would all like to thank Jack for making the experience memorable and something to cherish for the rest of our lives.
As you can see in the pictures, we then tried on our shirts, we were extremely happy. We were then given the opportunity to have professional photos taken, just like the players would have had. Just look at how these turned out!!
It was a day we were not expecting. We would like to thank Nike for inviting us to the event and giving us all the best experience. All three of us will remember this day for some years to come. We would also like to thank all the footballers and stars that we met, you were all very friendly. The event was run so efficiently and hopefully this will not be our last time at the heart of Nike’s new innovations.
Thank you, Nike, we are so grateful!