Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro


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Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby polevaultpower » Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:28 am

https://www.facebook.com/USPoleVaulterBradWalker

So I took my NIKE pv lights into the comp and laced em up like normal. The velcro on the shoes is not up to par and I have complained about it's lack of stickiness several times over the years saying we need to do better. The shoes share the same space as my chalk bag, the velcro fills with chalk, and gets even less grippy. So after warmups, knowing the straps were barely stuck on, I taped them. This isn't new. If you google Brad Walker pole vault and hit images, you can scroll through pics and see that I have done this over the years.

The last thing I need at Worlds with a 1:00 time clock is to have a strap come loose and flop around during my approach. So....tape em up and lets go.


For the full story, see his Facebook. Be sure to "Like" it while you are there.
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby polevaultpower » Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:46 am

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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby Marlow » Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:52 am

I'm a Brad fan, but he nailed the problem when he said the market will only bear what the market will bear. Since he had no other offers than the 'used-Prius' one from Nike, that's the market. His predicament should not embitter him; it's 'just business'. That said, it is very sad that someone as good as he is can't make a living at it, but welcome to American Track & Field 2013. Sigh.

[The taped velcro is a red herring IMO]
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Brad Walker's front page article

Postby ldnbloke » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:26 am

I don't know much bout Nike so I can't dissect the article, but I can't help feeling sorry for Brad Walker.
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby GHM » Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:58 pm

Joking: He can always change the country he represent and jump for Qatar!

Question: Assuming all pro T&F athletes are under contracts like soccer, NFL, NBA

How much the 1st, 5t, and 10th best athlete in any T&F events base contracts should be? IMHO

100-200: $1M, $100,000, $20,000
400-800-1500: 500k, 100k, 20 k
3000-10k: 300k, 100k, 20k
All Jumps: 300k-200, 100k, 20k
All throws: 300k-200, 100k, 20k
Deca: 300k, 200, 100
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby Marlow » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:40 pm

GHM wrote:How much the 1st, 5t, and 10th best athlete in any T&F events base contracts should be? IMHO
100-200: $1M, $100,000, $20,000
400-800-1500: 500k, 100k, 20 k
3000-10k: 300k, 100k, 20k
All Jumps: 300k-200, 100k, 20k
All throws: 300k-200, 100k, 20k
Deca: 300k, 200, 100

it's whatever the market supports and the current market doesn't support much outside the spotlight. If an American Hammer thrower were ranked #5 in the world, I really don't see him/her earning $100,000 a year. A #5 Decathlete earning $200,000? Not without significant other sponsors (Visa, back in the day).
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby americantrackfan » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:04 pm

this made uni-watch.com, a blog dedicated to sports uniforms and such...
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby jeremyp » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:32 pm

Had he won we would not be having this discussion.
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby polevaultpower » Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:05 pm

There is an article in the NY Times, I am too tired to find the link but it's on my Twitter.
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby polevaultpower » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:39 pm

It has begun, much more to come: http://www.ebay.com/sch/polevaulterbrad/m.html
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby gh » Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:00 pm

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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby Marlow » Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:42 pm

gh wrote:How the swag is moving

Over a grand in bids so far - nice!
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby odelltrclan » Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:08 pm

Marlow wrote:
gh wrote:How the swag is moving

Over a grand in bids so far - nice!


This is the second round. He was well over $1,000 combined for a bunch of stuff the first go round. I almost bought something but missed.
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby decafan » Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:09 pm

polevaultpower wrote:https://www.facebook.com/USPoleVaulterBradWalker

So I took my NIKE pv lights into the comp and laced em up like normal. The velcro on the shoes is not up to par and I have complained about it's lack of stickiness several times over the years saying we need to do better. The shoes share the same space as my chalk bag, the velcro fills with chalk, and gets even less grippy. So after warmups, knowing the straps were barely stuck on, I taped them. This isn't new. If you google Brad Walker pole vault and hit images, you can scroll through pics and see that I have done this over the years.

The last thing I need at Worlds with a 1:00 time clock is to have a strap come loose and flop around during my approach. So....tape em up and lets go.


For the full story, see his Facebook. Be sure to "Like" it while you are there.


Hmm... Am I the only one that has a problem with this thing? I am a huge fan of Brad Walker, but doesn't he bear any of the blame for this situation? This article immediately raised some questions for me. 1st; what is sub-par Velcro and what is an example of up-to-par Velcro? 2nd; even if the Velcro was sub-par, the shoes were new. How bad can we assume the Velcro actually was in a new pair of shoes? Was it SO bad that most people with the same shoes also are forced to tape them? 3rd; believing the Velcro to be sub-par prior to the competition, why in the world would he choose to have his shoes share the same space as his chalk bag? Didn't these shoes come with their own plastic shoe bag? Don't most vaulters carry their chalk in a container protecting the chalk and things that might come in contact with the chalk? Was he forced to have his shoes share the same space as the chalk bag? Did other athletes also have this problem? Does Velcro that is up to par work when chalk gets into it? Is it remotely possible Brad was negligent here?

Maybe I am ignorant here, but if I was a shoe sponsor and someone I sponsored wore the shoes in a way that made them look like junk, I might also have a beef with the athlete. Since, you know, that sort of negates the entire point of sponsoring an athlete.
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby JumboElliott » Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:34 pm

I feel like there's some type of contractual subtext to this. Like he wants to be paid like a world champion, but he hasn't been that in six years?
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby 26mi235 » Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:19 am

decafan wrote:Maybe I am ignorant here, but if I was a shoe sponsor and someone I sponsored wore the shoes in a way that made them look like junk, I might also have a beef with the athlete. Since, you know, that sort of negates the entire point of sponsoring an athlete.


Essentially, for a world-class meet and a world-class performance demands, the shoes were junk. They would not work without fixing, and you do not have a workshop around to fix them, you improvise.
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby Marlow » Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:09 pm

26mi235 wrote:
decafan wrote:Maybe I am ignorant here, but if I was a shoe sponsor and someone I sponsored wore the shoes in a way that made them look like junk, I might also have a beef with the athlete. Since, you know, that sort of negates the entire point of sponsoring an athlete.


Essentially, for a world-class meet and a world-class performance demands, the shoes were junk.

Then was it not Walker's responsibility to report that to the makers? How did it get this far? Even I would not go to my crappy little masters meet with shoddy equipment!
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby decafan » Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:12 pm

26mi235 wrote:
decafan wrote:Maybe I am ignorant here, but if I was a shoe sponsor and someone I sponsored wore the shoes in a way that made them look like junk, I might also have a beef with the athlete. Since, you know, that sort of negates the entire point of sponsoring an athlete.


Essentially, for a world-class meet and a world-class performance demands, the shoes were junk. They would not work without fixing, and you do not have a workshop around to fix them, you improvise.


I agree 100% that in the heat of the moment, you do what you've got to do. My only point is that Brad probably has to accept some responsibility for chalk getting into the Velcro. It seems completely avoidable. Demonizing Nike for flawed shoes seems irrational if the shoes would have been fine if not for chalk getting into the Velcro. If Usain Bolt wore his meet shoes on cement and wore down the spikes before his Moscow races, would it be fair to blame Puma? Maybe Puma spikes are sub-par and wear down faster than Adidas spikes when scraped against cement, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't have been perfectly fine in a new pair of shoes at the championships- if he hadn't worn them on cement.
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby polevaultpower » Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:31 am

Let me try to give you better context here, as I understand it, having used these spikes myself, and having spent time around elite vaulters and heard them complain about them.

Velcro - I use cloth diapers on my kids, so I come in contact with a lot of velcro. Most velcro has long teeth on the male side. The Nike velcro has very short teeth, hence the lack of sticking issues. I know with regular velcro, it tends to get gummed up with lint and stuff over time, so maybe that is what Nike is trying to avoid? The Nike velcro that does not stick well, chalk or no chalk. Over the years, I have seen MANY athletes tape their spikes like Brad to keep the velcro down. BRAD has taped his spikes many times to keep the velcro down. That's part of the issue, he did something he has done before and all of a sudden NOW it is a problem.

Spike Plate - Elite males have been having issues with the spike plates since the dawn of the PV Lite spikes. They break. All.the.time. Brad normally got a spike with a custom carbon spike plate, but because he had been without contract all year, he hadn't felt comfortable asking for a new custom pair. I've seen guys tape their shoes because of spike plate issues, and Brand mentioned the spike plate in his interview, so I think that taping them had something to do with that as well.

If you want to put some of the blame on Brad, that's fine, but this isn't a chalk issue, he would have taped his spikes even if chalk was not a factor. I just know that many elite male vaulters have had issues with these spikes, you just don't see them complaining publicly because you don't bite the hand that feeds you. A lot of vaulters use the TJ spikes instead of the PV ones, hmmm.
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby gh » Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:40 am

I'll have to check while watching a game or 3 this weekend, but don't many football players tape their shoes on? (as in, you don't hear shoe sponsors kvetching about that)
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby bushop » Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:24 am

gh wrote:I'll have to check while watching a game or 3 this weekend, but don't many football players tape their shoes on? (as in, you don't hear shoe sponsors kvetching about that)

Some of them have a template of the manufacturer's logo to color onto the tape.
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby Marlow » Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:30 am

There's about 50 ways this could have been avoided and most of them were in Walker's hands. As I said before, I'm a big fan of his, but he played this hand incorrectly. Over-reaction by Nike? Probably. But still within the realm of reason.
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby 26mi235 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:36 pm

Quit making excuses for Nike - they have a problem with their shoes and they know it and they handled it poorly. Yes, Walker could have handled it right by clearing 6.16, it is about as logical as your 50 ways [to leave your lover?].
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby Marlow » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:47 pm

26mi235 wrote:Quit making excuses for Nike

One exchange the word 'Walker' for "Nike' and have an equally valid point.
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby decafan » Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:16 pm

polevaultpower wrote:Let me try to give you better context here, as I understand it, having used these spikes myself, and having spent time around elite vaulters and heard them complain about them.

Velcro - I use cloth diapers on my kids, so I come in contact with a lot of velcro. Most velcro has long teeth on the male side. The Nike velcro has very short teeth, hence the lack of sticking issues. I know with regular velcro, it tends to get gummed up with lint and stuff over time, so maybe that is what Nike is trying to avoid? The Nike velcro that does not stick well, chalk or no chalk. Over the years, I have seen MANY athletes tape their spikes like Brad to keep the velcro down. BRAD has taped his spikes many times to keep the velcro down. That's part of the issue, he did something he has done before and all of a sudden NOW it is a problem.

Spike Plate - Elite males have been having issues with the spike plates since the dawn of the PV Lite spikes. They break. All.the.time. Brad normally got a spike with a custom carbon spike plate, but because he had been without contract all year, he hadn't felt comfortable asking for a new custom pair. I've seen guys tape their shoes because of spike plate issues, and Brand mentioned the spike plate in his interview, so I think that taping them had something to do with that as well.

If you want to put some of the blame on Brad, that's fine, but this isn't a chalk issue, he would have taped his spikes even if chalk was not a factor. I just know that many elite male vaulters have had issues with these spikes, you just don't see them complaining publicly because you don't bite the hand that feeds you. A lot of vaulters use the TJ spikes instead of the PV ones, hmmm.


I don't know Becca. The title of this thread, started by you is; "Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro." Why would I assume there was more too it? But I don't see how taping shoes with a broken spike plate would do anything anyway. I also think Brad would have mentioned such an obvious flaw in the shoes (broken spike plate!) if it was something he was dealing with in Moscow. You haven't said anything that actually addresses the points I made. I'm quite familiar with both Nike PV spikes and Velcro, BTW. I don't see how Brad making a stand against Nike for this issue helps anyone. He no longer has any clout. Stars in the twilight of their careers probably shouldn't burn their bridges.
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby deca-pat » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:06 pm

seems like Nike is selective in who they go after... http://www.letsrun.com/photos/2013/pari ... aris13.JPG

She has been wearing the same shoes for A LONG time now... and they ain't Nike.
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby JumboElliott » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:39 pm

One of those two people is a charismatic rising star who is consistently winning international medals in something of a glamor event.
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby 18.99s » Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:48 am

deca-pat wrote:seems like Nike is selective in who they go after... http://www.letsrun.com/photos/2013/pari ... aris13.JPG

She has been wearing the same shoes for A LONG time now... and they ain't Nike.


She's been a collegian for a long time, until the NCAAs this June. The Paris Diamond league (where that picture was taken) was in July ... was she signed with Nike at that time?
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby JumboElliott » Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:12 am

She's wearing a Nike pro kit, so the answer would be yes to whether she'd signed with Nike yet.
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby Fortius19 » Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:06 am

Watching Brussels on Universal, it looked like both Shkolina and Chicherova had taped their Nike shoe's Velcro tab shut.
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby br » Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:54 am

Fortius19 wrote:Watching Brussels on Universal, it looked like both Shkolina and Chicherova had taped their Nike shoe's Velcro tab shut.

Shkolina
http://www.zimbio.com/photos/Svetlana+S ... JGWfwGEpf5

Chicherova
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/photo ... 9620_4.htm
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby JumboElliott » Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:35 am

So Brad Walker felt slighted that Nike decided to drop him due to poor performance?
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby odelltrclan » Sat Sep 07, 2013 12:06 pm

JumboElliott wrote:So Brad Walker felt slighted that Nike decided to drop him due to poor performance?


If another National championship and 4th place at the recent world championships (with the same height as the bronze medal) is poor performance there is little hope for the sport.
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby JumboElliott » Sat Sep 07, 2013 12:12 pm

Perhaps poor performance is a bit extreme, but he's an inconsistent performer on the wrong side of 30, not to mention completely anonymous to basically anyone who doesn't make an effort to follow the pole vault.
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby odelltrclan » Sat Sep 07, 2013 12:16 pm

JumboElliott wrote:Perhaps poor performance is a bit extreme, but he's an inconsistent performer on the wrong side of 30, not to mention completely anonymous to basically anyone who doesn't make an effort to follow the pole vault.


So we have legal age discrimination? :shock: . Actually, your last point is probably more accurate. Unless your Renaud Lavillenie, virtually no exposure exists (in America at least) for the Pole Vault. The TV broadcasts show 2 or 3 jumps of the pole vault competition. Again, it is more a state of the sport and marketing than for Brad Walker. It is getting to a point where few athletes could make a living and especially in events that don't have much TV coverage.
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby no one » Sat Sep 07, 2013 12:40 pm

prob something Nike execs have been discussing (considering/pondering) for more than a day...
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby 26mi235 » Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:45 pm

But Walker is about the only known US vaulter at this point.
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby JumboElliott » Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:09 pm

But he hasn't done anything outdoors in years, and he'll be 35 at the next Olympics.
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby Jumpman » Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:06 pm

You know, he will be 35 at the next Olympics but and here is a big one. HE IS STILL HE BEST WE HAVE. He is coming back, strong. Wait till next year. For you people that say he has not done anything really good in the past few years. I believe he won Nationals oh yeah he took FOURTH in the the WORLD this year, tied for third.

I would like to see you fall from 19 feet on your ass and get up and walk away and never have to do anything except get back up and pole vault. It is called REHAB.

Oh by the way what is your PB??????? And why aren't you an elite???? My guess is because you have no idea what the commitment is?????

As far as Nike goes. Show me where he has said anything that was bad about the shoe. All he has done is point out the flaws, AND he has told NIKE about them numerous times and they have not fixed them. If you travel you want to carry as few of things as possible, reason for being in the same bag.

He has shown you all in pictures of the many many times in the past he has taped his shoes because of the velco. This was not a new thing. It was NIKES out to signing him and paying him the money they owed him.

If you look closely ask yourself this question, Why did Jeff Hartwig, Tim Mack, Toby Stevenson, NIck Hysong, NOT wear NIKE spikes. HMMMMM?????

This is just typical of a Corp. saying "What have you done lately for ME".

Brad did what he had to do so he could compete at the level he needed to to do the best he could do at the time. Until you can jump as high as the US RECORD holder does I would suggest keeping your thoughts to yourself.
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Re: Brad Walker dropped by Nike for taping crappy velcro

Postby 26mi235 » Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:23 pm

JumboElliott wrote:But he hasn't done anything outdoors in years, and he'll be 35 at the next Olympics.


He was how far down the list at the WCs? And he has had several pretty good vaults and good placings. And, every time he is up they say "former ..., and winner of, and xxx, and ..., it is a pretty good resume".
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