M Den unveils new Nike football gear
Angelique S. Chengelis
Ypsilanti – Nike Madness has hit Michigan and Ann Arbor, and very appropriately, the M Den, Michigan’s official equipment merchandise retailer, is gearing up for a midnight madness launch.
The M Den will host a four-hour party to kick off sales of the new Nike product with the doors opening on State Street at 11:59 p.m. on July 31.
Michigan officially begins its Nike affiliation on August 1.
Since it was revealed about a year ago that Michigan was returning to Nike clothing and gear, Scott Hirth, co-owner of M Den, said fans have called the various M Den stores daily for details of the sale of Nike equipment. .
“People are obviously very excited about this,” Hirth said Wednesday at the M Den warehouse during a Nike reveal to a handful of local media outlets.
However, the new Michigan soccer jersey and training shoe (AJ Trainer 1) won’t be available until August 6 at the M Den and on the website. It will not ship to other retailers until August 8 or later. Nike will host an unveiling of the jersey on August 2, but it will not be open to the public.
Nike branded its own color of corn called “Amarillo”, which means yellow in Spanish. Nike will only use this color for Michigan items.
Hirth said that due to rabid interest from fans, it became apparent that the store was scheduled to open at midnight on the first day of Nike’s contract with Michigan. Fans can purchase Nike products from the store’s website starting at midnight.
“We have significantly increased the capacity of our online portal,” said Hirth. “We will be able to manage (the demand). “
This is the 40th year of the M Den and as far as Hirth can remember this Nike launch has stood alone in the history of the company.
“The only thing that can even come close, I believe, is a national football or basketball championship,” Hirth said. “We had one (football) in 1997, and it was a big deal, but the nature of the licensed product has changed dramatically since 1997.
“So I think that’s as important as anything that could be on the licensed product front here at the University of Michigan, without winning a national championship.”
With that in mind, the M Den will make Nike’s launch a bit of a show with a State Street party starting at 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. The State Street store and Victors Collection will remain open until 10 p.m. Monday evening.
State Street will be blocked off between William and Liberty Streets to allow fans to enjoy the festivities which will include performances by the Michigan Marching Band and the UM Dance Team. There will be a DJ, and several special guests, not yet finalized, who will be part of the launch. Videos will be shown, there will be contests, giveaways and photo opportunities featuring giant Block Ms, Nike swooshes and Jumpmans, and there will be food and drink.
All of the fall football items, around 300, Hirth said, will be available for purchase, with the exception of football jerseys. Basketball and hockey clothing will be sold later. The Victors collection will sell a lot of golf style clothing.
Starting August 1, the other five stores at M Den will open at 10 a.m.