Nike and OSU partner for youth

Staff reports
1/3/11

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Nike and Oregon State University unveiled new turquoise uniforms, at the third game of the season. They are the focal point of a unique partnership between OSU and Nike N7 that is focused on creating awareness for the need to bring access to sport for Native American and aboriginal youth as a means to improve their lives and create positive change in their communities.

The turquoise color is a distinct departure from Oregon State’s traditional orange and black and is deeply symbolic of friendship and community in Native American culture.

“N7 is about creating access to sports for Native American and aboriginal youth, and I believe our partnership with OSU men’s basketball is an incredibly impactful way to get the word out,” said Sam McCracken, general manager of the Nike N7 program in North America. “Basketball is the most popular game among youth on Native lands. Our goal is create awareness – both inside and outside Native communities – for the need to inspire all youth in these communities to lead physically active lifestyles and be a force for positive change in generations to come.”

 
 
This is the holiday 2010 Nike N7 footwear collection.

Nike has worked closely with Native American communities across the United States for more than 10 years to provide access to product and support for sports programs. McCracken, of the Sioux and Assiniboine tribes, developed the concept for the Nike N7 program in 1998 as a way to provide inspiration and access to the brand to encourage physically active lifestyles. McCracken was appointed by President Barack Obama to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Advisory Council on Indian Education. Nike also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IHS in 2003, and again in 2009, as a commitment to continue to bring inspiration and innovation to Native American communities in the spirit of health and wellness; the company also has a memorandum of understanding with the Bureau of Indian Education in 2010 to create messages around healthy lifestyles.

The turquoise Oregon State uniforms, designed for performance and lower environmental impact, incorporate recycled polyester into each jersey and short produced from 32 water bottles. The jersey contains 69 percent recycled polyester equivalent to 15 water bottles; and the short contains 73 percent recycled polyester equivalent to 17 water bottles. The uniform also features Nike Elite Fit design which significantly reduces the width of the jersey for a contemporary silhouette and superior lightweight performance.

“It is a little outside of the box for us, but it’s for such a great and important initiative,” Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson said. “I came to this because I was looking for something to support. Everyone’s out there, and this is no slight to the Coaches vs. Cancer or many of the other things that are out there, but I wanted something that was meaningful given my heritage of being an American and being an African American, and wanting to embrace that ethos of looking back and learning from your past and moving forward and adding to the footprint.”

OSU sophomore Joe Burton and senior Calvin Haynes joined Robinson and McCracken for the unveiling, appearing Nov. 21 in the turquoise uniforms, complete with Nike N7 HyperDunks, which became available as part of the Nike N7 holiday collection at stores across North America. Burton, who joined the team in 2009, is the first member of his tribe, the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians, to earn a full athletic scholarship to a major university in the reservation’s 127-year history.

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