- Feb 19, 2002
Funny you mention a lot of things that prior to them having the contract with MLB they seemed eager and wanted to promote their tech, and name onto MLB.Honestly, Nike could be able to grow it's baseball division just by making turf versions of it's training shoes and making player editions, similar to what they've done with football folks in the past. I've said it a ton in the Griffey threads, but eliminating Swingman Brand was indicative of how Nike felt about being able to sell baseball-specific stuff. No reason why a premium Trout Vapor line, legacy Swingman/Griffey line, and lower tier Huarache line doesn't co-exist unless Nike believed it's just wasn't worth it. Jordan Brand can slap Mookie's name on some modern Trunners and I'm sure it'll at least do well by mark-down/Factory Store level, which I assume is where most of the Trout stuff moves.
Not making more signature player specific cleats makes sense, Trout is one of the few that you may be able to do that with, but not having more player edition stuff available for customers is lazy. Not sure why they picked up the MLB contract if they didn't have desire to change, or innovate, pre/post game and in-game baseball wear...
First example, the under base layer shirt.
After a certain world series, I did not see this being pushed to retail any longer but in the past you would see a new Hyperwarm or type of new "technology' garment for baseball. That has since fallen way behind. In the last two years I have seen the same shirt rolled out expect the logos were placed differently for each year.
Second example, the Swingman brand.
Here is what strikes me strange. I thought Nike would allow Griffey who would still hold some cred to welcome and usher new players every year to the fold. Giving them a shoe that everyone can use and have their own custom setup and color way. That slowly died and became extinct.
Third example, the jersey.
How terrible this has been. Never have I encountered them issuing jerseys that were subpar. I know they took Majestic's old inventory and slap their label but years have gone by and some of the authentic jersey's mimic replica's. Also, no availability to buy a specific authentic player or team at any given time disappointed me.
Fourth example, Trout
I know he isn't the guy that wants the glory and big lights but c'mon what use to be a staple during the All Star Break has really fallen on the way side. No more big time promotion has really hurt this shoe. Did anyone know they released the 8's two weeks ago? Nope. I only learned of it prior because something was posted in his Instagram account. Beside that who would've known?
Fifth example, The Virus
I know we went through hell the last two years and probably every retail group has gone through something. But its time to move on and regain what was lost. I do not know if shipping issues from overseas is a thing or the cost of manufacturing has something to do with this but all we know and I know Nike knows this, is that it has to change. Culture, promotion, respect, whatever it is needs to change. Pretty soon UA, NB, and others are just going to be the norm and Nike with all their tech and name won't compete as much and will go back to just providing little stuff here and there to the players.
Sorry for the long rant and write up. Didn't mean to write a book on this but its how frustrating it is to see a company not pump out and take ownership of what baseball has to offer.