Five Reasons Why Nike Snatched Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory On This Year’s KOTR

We believe sport is a lifestyle. It’s where we leverage that brand identity, that credibility. And it’s the biggest access point of all from a consumer standpoint. And you can see Allyson Felix, Kobe Bryant, referenced here in the visuals. These athletes are connected with the brand in every aspect of their life. We can supply that connection. We can also innovate in every single one of these dimensions. I’m happy to report it’s working. We saw every single one of our categories in fiscal year ’11 deliver growth. We have strong momentum across the category portfolio for fiscal year ’12. Trevor is going to spend a little bit more time going a little deeper about what goes on in our category offense in a few minutes.
–Charlie Denson, Nike brand president, fiscal fourth quarter earnings call, 6-30-11

Alas, Nike followers will be forced to question and puzzle over the subpar showing by Nike’s King of the Road squad, where Vegas odds had the Koston/Oneill/Kennedy/Wair/Taylor fivesome as heavy favorites to handily lick the Vans/Dekline/Lakai teams, in a fancy van to boot. But as we learned last night, that wasn’t the way it went down. Below the blog website “Boil the ocean” looks at four reasons why.

1. Video game eyes
Video games taught a generation of children how to coordinate their hand motions with what’s happening on the screen in front of them, and the revolutionary PowerPad did the same for feet. Horribly for Nike’s points-gathering efforts it seems like the company refused to spring for a van large enough to fit a PowerPad, leaving Cory Kennedy to suffer a normal Xbox.

2. Social media domination
At some point along the way Eric Koston appointed himself KOTR11’s all-points shit talker, weighing in on rival teams’ struggles to produce usable footage or have a backpack that does not look like a van, or randomly putting folks on blast as he saw fit. Several of his online quips are collected here.

“Sounds like Dan Z hit the wall. KOTR ain’t for the weak.” -@erickoston
“Why would you cover up this beauty with a shitty-ass dreamcatcher @jaredlucas” —@erickoston
“Boring as fuck” -@erickoston
“I’ll take all 3 of you guys in the octagon right now!!!” -@erickoston
“When I say “weak ass!”, you say “bitch!”….weak ass, bitch!!! ” —@erickoston
“@ham_n_cheese maybe if you got the fuck off instagram and shot a goddamn skate photo, your phone wouldn’t be dead” -@erickoston
“Awe that’s cute!! You guys have a van shaped just like the dakine backpacks you make” -@erickoston

3. Ghostly spirits
Whereas the other vans were assigned relatively benign starting points such as Seattle and El Paso, Nike began in Albuquerque, N.M., one of the most haunted cities in the U.S.A. The white paper “Haunted New Mexico: Ghosts of the Southwest” tells the legend of a hacienda that is haunted by spirits, and other bone-chilling stories. Is it possible, that Nike’s black van fell under the spell of a wayward phantasm, or they erroneously bought some haunted gas?

4. Internal group strife
All the pics of the Nike folks partying it up in the van are a classic cover for the stress of a group that is tearing itself apart in silence, or sometimes with sound. Shane Oneill quietly stepped off the merry-go-round as the competition heated up, despite (because of?) his team-manager egging him on to consume fast food and soda like his teammates Cory Kennedy and Grant Taylor. Tension was further ratcheted up by Phelps’ naming longtime Koston internet nemesis Leo Romero as Nike’s surprise guest, prompting a silent war fought with middle fingers and profane t-shirt designs.

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11 Responses to “Five Reasons Why Nike Snatched Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory On This Year’s KOTR”

  1. al Says:

    What exactly happened with Shane O’Neill’s departure? How many days of brutality (brewtality?) did he undergo before leaving, as Leo mentioned, to “cash some checks”?

  2. art hellman Says:

    Nike team shoulda just been Taylor and Gino…

    Koston-off-the-board continues to disappoint. Social media is a plague.

    Well I’m against it
    I’m against it
    Well I’m against it
    I’m against it
    I don’t like politics
    I don’t like communists
    I don’t like games and fun
    I don’t like anyone
    And I’m against…
    I don’t like Jesus freaks
    I don’t like circus geeks
    I don’t like summer and spring
    I don’t like anything
    I don’t like sex and drugs
    I don’t like waterbugs
    I don’t care about poverty
    All I care about is me
    And I’m against…
    I don’t like playing ping pong
    I don’t like the Viet Cong
    I don’t like Burger King
    I don’t like anything
    And I’m against…
    Well I’m against it
    I’m against it

  3. REID Says:

    I was rooting for Dekline since the beginning man..

  4. Not.Jake.Phelps Says:

    Thrasher has to reveal why Nugget left but even if they do, hard to believe the truth will be told.

    Industry insiders, where are you?!

  5. holycrail Says:


  6. AC DD Says:

    I thought this was a skateboard blog, not the ramblings of a try-hard failed MFA creative writing major?

  7. hi Says:

    nugget probs left to fuck his girlfriend.

  8. Dian Krewer Says:

    So it’s super important to thoroughly think about what bag styles complement your personal style, to make sure you have a bag-collection that you love!

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