Grand Re-Opening of Nike Chicago
After months of construction, the Nike Chicago store (formerly known as NikeTown) re-opened yesterday with a brand new look. I was lucky enough to attend the Re-Opening Party alongside other Chicago sports and media folks and VIPs like Bo Jackson, who spoke about attending the store’s original opening 20 years ago.
Yesterday morning we each received a special “VIP card” via messenger with a code in the corner. Typing in the code allowed us into the back entrance of the store, where we were ushered up to “Room 23,” a new space on the fifth floor devoted to special events.
We ate passed appetizers and enjoyed drinks at the bar, including a special pomegranate-champagne drink with a stick of blueberries punctuated by a swoosh.
After some boozing and schmoozing in Room 23 we were taken on a tour of the new store, which has a more modern, open floor plan and lots of unique local touches. Fans of Michael Jordan will love the first floor, devoted entirely to the Bulls legend and Chicago’s rich hoops history.
The store boasts the largest floor space dedicated to Jordan Brand of any store in the world. Highlights included three huge chandeliers made of Jordan 11s and basketballs and a wall featuring every Jordan shoe ever made.
Off to the second floor! An escalator leads you up a wall of logos from high school, college and pro teams in the area, then deposits you in front of a big glass case. Inside you’ll find Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher’s complete “system of dress.” It’s a showcase of Nike’s new NFL collection, from the pants to the jersey to the mouthguard.
The second floor, devoted to both running and football, featured a floor made entirely of reclaimed wood, most of it gathered from old bleacher and basketball courts at local high schools. The NFL area also featured a very cool display of every team’s gloves.
Time to head to the third floor — old Chicago Bears prints dominate the wall leading to the escalator.
The third floor is devoted to soccer, tennis, golf, action sports and youth gear. There’s also a table set up for Nike CustomID, where you can create your own shoes.
Ashley and I collaborated on some sweet custom kicks with our new friend Cory.
I made a pretty badass pair of navy and orange shoes to rock to Chicago Bears games, customizing them with “SPAIN” on the tongue.
If you get a chance to head down and check out the store, I highly recommend it. You might even run into this guy, a Nike employee who takes brand loyalty to a whole new level.