Much has been made of Oregon's custom change-every-week football uniforms, and Nike's penchant for using the Ducks as guinea pigs in the company's ongoing quest to constantly improve its products. As it turns out, that regional or alumni-favoritism isn't strictly reserved for the University of Oregon, either, with much ballyhooed football program Beaverton (Ore.) Aloha High receiving customized, beta-testing footwear to use for the remainder of the football season.
As reported by the Oregonian, Nike came to Aloha and asked if the school was interested in using brand new shoes that feature Aloha's logo on it for free. The company was hoping to test a new dye that is being used to paint the shoes, and Aloha provided a nearby option for Nike to keep close notes on how the shoes respond to the elements throughout the Oregon playoffs.
Aloha won't pay for the shoes, provided that the sneakers are returned to Nike technicians once the season ends.
Naturally, that's an easy sale for Aloha officials.
"The agreement with Nike was that our kids would wear them and really test them," Aloha coach Chris Casey told the Oregonian. "We have a great relationship with Nike, and it's been that way since I've been here."
For Aloha, the team will hope that the new shoes bring the same luck that it provided for Lake Oswego (Ore.) High in 2011, when Nike outfitted the Lakers with test drive kicks and watched the school roll to a state title.
Now, the Warriors will aim to do the same thing, with Nike hoping that the returns from this round of cleat testing is as positive as the last, both on the field and on the shoes, once competition is done with.