According to Povah, “Opinions are like arseholes”, Everyones got one. So we thought we'd ask to see some arseholes, Wait, I mean hear some opinions. It came down to asking the people we thought would be into the subject. Somehow we managed to include one half of the Empire Tom Williams, Etnies rider and Terribleone owner Joe Rich, Odyssey worker and Defgrip contributor Nuno Oliviera, Mutiny co-owner and moustache wearer Gaz Sanders, Etnies team manager John Povah, Bicycle Union fireworks lighter and owner John Dye and rounding out the list is Nike wearer, Aversion rider and town drunk Sam Bryant.
I'm of the opinion that Nike has no place in BMX and that they don’t even make a product suitable for BMX. Big companies coming into BMX as Joe Rich points out is “just a sign of the times”, it’s the world we live in. Companies make money and corporations get richer. That’s how it works. Were we so naïve that we didn’t expect it? Or see it coming? Levi's has a BMX team, Redbull, Monster energy drinks. Shit even Andy Ruffell was in bed with Kellogs! Its been happening for years without nearly as much discussion. So why Nike? Ethically, in the past, it seems that there production practices have been way off the mark, but do you know enough about any of the brands you consume? or even care?
Morally, should Nike be in the ‘game’? That’s a whole different question, what are they doing for BMX? Even when they do something good, like the Lightning bolts art show or the new Freestylin' book (which I'm begging for a copy of), they get slated for it being a publicity stunt. Can a company like Nike ever really clear there name? Can they really be taken for what they are doing right now, rather than the basketball shoes from years gone by? Do we really need yellow and pink trainers? Not to mention that your sisters jeans and fluorescent green Nikes pretty much destroy all credibility and manly-hood you may have possessed before you got dressed this morning.
Who knows, in five years time Nike might be sponsoring a hundred riders and throwing contests every week, or given the current financial crisis maybe they may well drop their entire team and step out of BMX quietly and un-noticed. On the flip side their input and that bottomless bank account may be invaluable in the coming years. Who knows? We live in a world driven by the (currently) not so almighty dollar, BMX is no different, cash is cash and it keeps the world turning, like it or not. But if Nikes gonna buy their way into BMX there gonna need to invest more than money. I don’t know if they ever will, I doubt they even know, but to be widely accepted then they need to do something. So do we sit back in our Etnies with a cuppa and wait for Nike to do something to change our minds? Nah we get on our bikes and head out, Forgetting all the politics and gossip and jump some curbs. The important thing is that BMX brought us all to where we are whether you’re the team manager for a shoe company, owner of a bike company or working minimum wage so you can ride every day. It's all the same. It's supposed to be fun, lets keep it that way! After all we all got to this point on twenty inches, regardless of the shoes turning the pedals.
Unfortunately due to time constraints Nike were unable to contribute to this article. We will post their answers if received.