By: Chris S
When skateboarding first started you had to make your own skateboard, then the only place you could buy one would be at the local surf shop, then skate shops, then skate shoes/clothing/equipment followed. Skateboarding started off very underground, accepted at first then looked down upon as skateboarders started using property to change the sport. Companies that started skateboarding were local surf companies, and then skate companies formed from the sport creating a larger and larger appeal as the years went on. Now the companies that are purely skateboard companies are getting pushed to the back as other companies, the two major ones are Nike and Adidas, are jumping on the bandwagon to sponsor skateboarders and create new shoes and apparel.
The first thought that comes to mind when thinking of Nike is the Nike swoosh and basketball. Basketball and track it seems are the two major sports that Nike sponsors. But now with the amount of money and credibility they have for being a reliable and very well paying company, they’ve been on the market for skateboard shoes and apparel for a few years now sponsoring some of the best upcoming pros. They took guys onto their team that weren’t sponsored by major companies but they knew they were the best and now give Nike a whole new name. Take this commercial where professional skateboarder Paul Rodriguez skates his Nike skate shoes, the way it’s filmed, the music, the slow motion, are all very Nike. He even skates past professional basketball player Kobe Bryant as if to say “Nike does basketball, we also do skateboarding so you can do both”.
Also notice that there are Mountain Dew stickers under his skateboard, using the Nike commercial to also advertise for Mountain Dew, which isn’t as weird because Mountain Dew has always been an “extreme sport” type of drink.
Adidas has also recently jumped into sponsoring professional skateboarders, but like the company, most are European and so are their advertisements. The Adidas skate shoes resemble their original shoes and some also have thin tongues to represent soccer shoes (soccer being Adidas’ most sponsored sport). Adidas, like Nike, has a lot of money to pay their pros and to get their name into the skateboarding scene. Take this commercial when some European professionals sponsored by Adidas take to the streets of London and skate, but also play soccer and go to a soccer game, as if to say that even though Adidas is branching out they’re sticking to their roots to make sure their fans from soccer still support them even though they’re sponsoring skateboarding.
Now I don’t think that these two companies moving into skateboarding culture is really a bad thing, it shows that the sport is now getting more credibility and will be able to go places it couldn’t ever before because it now has more support than ever. I just think that it’s worth noticing that when a sport like skateboarding, used to be rebellious but always on the rise, becomes more recognized by the public, companies like Nike and Adidas hop into the sport to sponsor some of the best skateboarders around and to widen their market it seems without caring about the other companies that have been dedicated to skateboarding for much longer than they have.