Nike‘s storied history of signature athletes includes world champions and all-time record setters in professional sports, but the individual that is considered to be the godfather of the brand’s most explosive category is neither a champion nor a record-holder. His name is Bo Jackson, the two-sport pro athlete that displayed dominance on the baseball diamond and football field and championed Nike Training‘s emphasis on the balance of speed and power. His relentless training regiment and mythical talent made him the perfect face for Nike’s budding Cross Training focus, and with his help, the Training category was pushed to the forefront and became the identity of the Swoosh brand in the early 1990s. The “Bo Knows” campaign became a pop culture phenomenon, with the ads displaying the Auburn alumni taking part in a variety of sports.
Nike Training ascended alongside Bo’s rise to fame and together they formed an everlasting bond, with the iconic Air Trainer shoe line acting as the vessel to deliver the message to its consumers. The shoes were, in fact, created to fit the needs of the everyday athlete that craved individual support for multiple activities at the gym or the outdoors, so who better to embody that than the man who did the same on a professional level? That said, the Air Trainer line was an incredible hit for athletes of all levels as well as those who valued the design aesthetic (aka the early sneakerheads). Following the Air Trainer 1 was a series of models like the Air Trainer SC High and Air Trainer Max, and although these shoes never officially had Bo’s name attached to the shoe, we all credit him and his relentless training regiment for the birth and sustenance of the category. Take a look at this History of Bo Jackson’s Nike Air Trainer Sneakers.
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