With football season gearing up to start in early fall, training camps have already begun. This past weekend, Nike Football let us in on one of the most elite high school football training camps in the nation. The Opening Finals is a 4-day event that brings together the best high school football players from around the country to train and compete against each other in a final championship game. This year, the camp saw about 162 players. The most amazing part of this experience was that it took place in our own backyard. For the first time in the program's history, The Opening made its way off Nike HQ in Oregon and landed at Jerry’s second house, The Star in Frisco, TX. Talk about God’s Plan (s/o Drake). We were so ecstatic that Nike took us along for this journey, and we can’t wait to let you in on what the swoosh had in store for us.
On the first day, we kicked things off with a tour of The Star. Led by Chad Estis, EVP of Business Operations for the Cowboys, we started the tour in the organization’s press conference room. From there we saw everything from the five Super Bowl trophies to the Cowboys players’ touchstone they interact with before every practice session.
Our next event of the day was chatting it up with a couple of designers for Nike Football apparel and cleats. These guys were awesome and really explained all the challenging work that goes into designing functional yet stylish pieces for the athletes. Tyler Luckey, Product Line Manager for cleated footwear, told us that it takes up to 2 years to develop a new cleat (wow). That is some dedication to the athlete! Next up, one of the apparel designers chatted with us about new and upcoming changes to jerseys and pants to make them more comfortable and lightweight for football players. Sustainability was a big part of this discussion and that was really cool to hear from such a big brand. The talk ended with the three words to describe what Nike Football designers were all about and they are: Sustainability, Innovation and Performance. Finally, we unboxed some major heat gifted by Nike that you can take a look at below!
Next, we put our new gear to the test in a 45-minute training session with Michael Johnson Performance of McKinney, TX. This workout was tough, but with some motivation from Chicago Bears linebacker, Roquan Smith, we made it out stronger and with a better understanding of what it takes to be a football player in todays game.
One of our favorite and last activities of the day came in the form of a cleat customization session. Us and the rest of our media group were gifted with plain cleats that we could customize to our liking. We really let those creative juices flow, with a little help from design consultant, Robert Luis Feliciano of Brooklyn, NY. We got to personalize everything from laces and paint to adding words and numbers. Check out our creative process below!
After the previous day’s training session with Michael Johnson Performance, our bodies were definitely feeling some type of way. Thankfully, day 2 was kicked off with a cryotherapy session with CryoUSA. Shoutout to Eric Rauscher, the managing director of CryoUSA, for filling us in on all the benefits that cryotherapy includes! Our sessions were each two and a half minutes long, and the temperature reached -270 degrees...talk about cold! Try out CryoUSA during your next trip to Dallas for healing muscles and relieving pain!
Our next adventure of the day was the JDI/The Opening Finals Athlete Panel w/ NFL players. Panelists included Texas-native Malik Jefferson (drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals), Denzel Ward (4th pick for the Cleveland Browns), and Willie McGinest (3x Super Bowl Champion and NFL analyst). The athletes gave advice on overcoming obstacles, shared about their contribution to their communities and defined the meaning of Nike’s coined phrase “Just Do It.”
Shortly after, we received our customized cleats that we designed the previous day. Of course, we HAD to rep Chicks N Kicks...peep the side of these cleats! This was just in time for us to sport our new kicks during some 7-on-7 competition. Coaches Malik and Denzel had game plans, routes and plays set for us. I’d say that we DEFINITELY put some slight work out there, and got to sport our SneakHER style.
Look who stopped by to share his take on the meaning of 'Just Do It!"
Oh hey there, Gronk! Rob Gronkowski, tight end for the New England Patriots, chatted with us…
Our weekend didn’t end there. After watching The Opening Finals training camp, we were given an exclusive look at the Madden 99 Club gloves and cleats! Rob Gronkowski was gifted with this custom pair...welcome to the #99Club!
See more of what we were up to in our photo recap below!
After eight years at its HQ in Beaverton, Oregon, Nike claimed The Star in Frisco for The Opening Finals. How cool is that?! We had the greatest time at The Opening Finals and honoring the 30th anniversary of #JustDoIt! Thank you Nike and The Star in Frisco for an incredible weekend of football, fun and new friends. We've got PLENTY of #SneakHerStyle to add to our collection. I hope you all enjoyed a recap of The Opening Finals!
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Kennedy is an Editorial Intern with an flare for sporting her personal street style wherever she goes! When she’s not studying it up at Baylor University, this Dallas-native is probably chilling with her camera on a patio in Uptown Dallas. You can most likely find her rockin’ the latest trendy shade of pink sneakers! Give her a follow on Instagram @kennedy_dendy.
Kayce is currently the Digital Marketing intern for CNK. As a Dallas native, she was exposed to the fashion industry and sneaker culture at a young age and both quickly became one of her biggest passions. She is currently attending the University of North Texas working towards a B.S. in Merchandising. Outside of her fashion and sneaker affinity, she is a collector of vinyls and lives to attend as many of her faves concerts as possible. Connect with her on IG @kaycemackenzie.
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