Last night, the National Retail Federation held its third annual Gala in New York City. While the event’s purpose is to recognized and honor individuals who are impacting the retail industry today, Kobe Bryant highlighted the event in a surprise appearance to present Nike CEO Mark Parker with The Visionary Award. Bryant, a long-time Nike signature athlete, talked about the Nike CEO’s impact on him personally, calling Parker one of his muses and someone he could turn to all the time for advice. When Bryant was beginning to plan his post-retirement life, he said Parker gave him a 944-page book on own his muse, Abraham Lincoln.
“I would think that after all these years working at Nike, spending time with athletes, that he would know that the last thing an athlete wants to do is read a 944-page book in a 10-point font,” said Bryant. “But when I read it, I immediately saw the connectivity between the sixteenth President’s and Mark’s leadership style. A quiet, empathetic leader who bands together people with different points of view to build a stronger team, because maybe, just maybe, an off the wall idea can change the game. You just need to be willing to listen. So for every Mark Parker in the world, there is an Abraham Lincoln. For every Kobe Bryant, there is a Mark Parker.”
LeBron James took to the internet tonight to confirm what his fans have been begging for–a retro release of the Nike Air Zoom Generation, his first sneaker. The first announcement came via Instagram, where LeBron wrote a lengthy paragraph about all the memories that the Nike Air Zoom Generation brings back to him. Then, in a four-and-a-half minute video, the King unveiled the white/red/black sneakers with a giddy smile. “These right here will be releasing very, very soon,” he said in the video. “Like, very soon.”
Nike held an event on Thursday in Seat Pleasant, Md. (just outside of Washington, D.C.) to launch its latest signature shoe for Kevin Durant, the KD VI. The location was significant, as the shoe’s design was inspired by Durant’s hometown, and (as pointed out in the video clip above) the precision craftsmanship of a watch.