Decoding Design

Nike's jackets preparing to steal the Olympic spotlight

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Nike has put a polyester laminate on the surface of the jacket to be worn in medals ceremonies to increase amplification of light by 400%, making their jackets into giant light reflectors

Every company tries to make their products stand out. Celebrity endorsements, flashy colors, and all kinds of different innovations to sell more and garner more attention. Nike, and no one should be surprised, has taken it to the next level, adding something different to the jackets United States Olympians will wear while on the medal stand this summer in London.

Nike has (much to the chagrin of sports photographer) put a polyester laminate on the surface of their 21st C. Windrunner V jacket to increase amplification of ambient light by 400%. In other words, they turned their jackets into giant light reflectors.

So while the flag is being raised and the anthem played, the flashes from photographers will be popping off the upper bodies of our country's finest (As well as the medal-winners from Brazil, Kenya and Estonia).

Nike has focused its considerable marketing army on the Olympics, with the support of the Game on, World campaign and the launch of the Fuel Band, getting the every day athlete tracking and thinking about their bodies and movements like a pro.

The multi-dimensional corporation is always trying to innovate and expand in different ways, but big international tournaments are their wheelhouse, they weren't going to do anything but shine during this year's games.

Nike's main aim wasn't to troll photographers, however. The jacket is designed for all runners, giving them 360 degrees of reflection. The medal ceremony jackets were hot sellers after the games in 2008, but this time they will get more attention than before-- from fans, athletes, and of course, photographers.

[Co. Design]
Images: Nike, Inc.

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Beth Carter

Contributing Editor

Beth Carter is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. She has worked for Catalyst magazine, the New York Times Syndicate, BBC Travel and Wired. She holds degrees from the University of Oregon and New York University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure