Yesterday marked an important day for sportswear company Nike as they launched their first world football store with Manchester United playing a predominant role.
The store which has been heavily revamped on Manchester’s Market Street brought together both those affiliated from The Red Devils and local rivals Manchester City. Stars from both football clubs attended the grand opening and even participated in a table game of football along with fans from both clubs.
England captain Rio Ferdinand, Darron Gibson (interviewed by Red Rants on the night) and Old Trafford’s latest hero Javier Hernandez were in attendance for United with James Milner and Adam Johnson representing The Citizens.
Spirits were high between both sets of players – despite a keenly contested Manchester derby a night prior where the spoils were shared at Eastlands. Rio along with his United peers mingled with fans before taking to the football table where they showed just as much passion and emotion as they did during the derby. British hip hop star Tinchy Stryder was at the launch and was given the task of refereeing the game which would have impressed those at The Referee’s Association.
Nike as a company is honoured to open its inaugural solitary football store on the planet at the heart of Manchester City Centre. The city is a spectrum of world football thanks to United’s continuous success and it only seems to get bigger and better with Manchester City now entering the fray at the top of English football.
Marc Van Pappelendam ,Vice President of Nike UK & Ireland has echoed such a testament and believes the fans of both clubs in Manchester can experience the wide array of products available at the new store. He said: “Manchester is a city rich in football history and the new Nike Football store will serve football followers from Manchester and beyond with the best Nike Football products and experiences available to consumers.”
There are many new exciting features in store with customers now having the opportunity to personalise their football boots with ‘NIKEiD’. Another intriguing aspect is the ‘online kit builder tool’ which allows football teams of all ages to customise their own apparel by the design of the club crest right down to choice of material to gain the full benefit from the Nike Football experience.
Manchester United and Nike have been affiliated with one another since 2002 and the ever growing rapport between both club and company continues with the opening of the city’s new store. The Red Devils success on the pitch is just as successful off it with Nike playing an integral role.
The afternoon as a whole was a huge success and fans of both clubs were at the forefront after winning competitions to be in attendance. They got to meet their heroes and were lucky enough to gain signed memorabilia and have their photographs taken to their evident joy.
Check out the pictures below of the event:
Event coverage and Darron Gibson interview by Ross Mackiewicz.