Oregon as evidenced by its Matt Knight Madness event really knows how to throw a party, and Nike is making sure the students of the Pit Crew look good while cheering on their team. The student section has its own special-edition Nike shoe, with 10 pairs of the Pit Crew Air Jordan 3 being raffled off on Friday out of the 500 pair in existence.
Already, one pair has been put up for auction on eBay with the current bid at a whopping $1,349. The seller noted that the 9 1/2-size shoes currently reside in a "non-smoker house" in Beaverton, Ore.
The Pit Crew shoe hitting the secondary market is not surprising, but according to The Oregonian, the shoe is not available at retail stores and was designed to get into the hands of only hardcore student fans who will have to prove their loyalty to the Ducks.
But not every Pit Crew member will be receiving a pair of the shoes, in part because the initial run for this academic year totals 500. Pit Crew members will have to earn them, by adhering to standards, attending a certain number of games and agreeing to a code of conduct -- specific guidelines that [Pit Crew president Alex] Horwitch said have not yet been drafted but will before the Ducks basketball season begins.
The story of how Nike came to outfit the Pit Crew in such a unique way was amazingly simple. According to The Register-Guard, Horwitch just wanted to discuss rebranding the Pit Crew -- which was created when Oregon played in "The Pit" at McArthur Court -- when athletic department official Jim Bartko got the ball rolling with Nike.
Bartko put Horwitch, a UO senior from Calabasas, Calif., in touch with Nike Creative Director Todd Van Horne, via e-mail, last fall, and Van Horne invited Horwitch to Nike’s Beaverton headquarters for a meeting with him and Hatfield. Horwitch said he thought they would just discuss, perhaps, a new logo. But Hatfield asked, "What if we just outfitted you like we did a sports team?" Horwitch recalled.
Horwitch's response? "That would be incredible. What did you have in mind?"
What Hatfield had in mind arrived early last month, in a shipment of boxes from Nike, filled with about 60 pairs of the new Pit Crew shoes. And not only that, but more than 200 black Nike sweat jackets emblazoned with "Pit Crew" in yellow on one side and white Nike swooshes on the other.
That's how the Pit Crew, long known for its antics at Mac Court, became the best-dressed student section in the land. There are natural advantages with Nike that allow for it at Oregon.
And if you pay enough money on an auction site, you too can experience wearing the special shoe.