Congratulations. To all of you. But more specially, to all of you who have been on board with this since day one. What do I mean by “this”, you ask? “This” can be loosely translated to the demand you all have created for a Hope Solo jersey. Whether you made your voices heard via Twitter, Facebook, blog posts, phone calls, and/or emails, I applaud you. You asked and they listened (and will likely deliver on their promise). But before we go any further, let’s take a trip down memory lane via Twitter, shall we?
Back in August, I had started a somewhat “campaign” on Twitter asking for her purple goalkeeper jersey to be sold. This was a rather easy task since many of my followers along with her followers seemed to be on board with it. Even Hope herself was. In short, I had tweeted Nike for them to release her jersey so that it would be available for us, her fans, to purchase. Others decided to do the same (at approximately the same time). Here’s a screenshot of a tweet I had sent mentioning her along with Nike and her response:
Moving forward, it even caught Nike’s attention to which they replied:
(PS that’s Coach Lesle Gallimore retweeting Nike’s tweet – current UW women’s soccer head coach and Hope’s former coach at UW)
That gave me some hope (no pun intended) that something would be done. I didn’t know what to expect honestly because their tweet didn’t really give me anything to work with.
Fast forward three days and Hope announced that they’ll be giving away 25 of her authentic purple goalkeeper jerseys – one of which was given to me:
It was a nice gesture, Nike. I appreciate it dearly and I cried tears of joy when I received this tweet from you all. However, what was to be done for her countless other fans? That was the question that lingered in my mind.
Between August of 2011 and April of 2012 there was pretty much a stalemate in whether or not a jersey would be released; at least to my knowledge. Talk of ever being able to wear our favorite goalkeeper’s jersey had seemed to die down. Nike even rejected that they would be issuing a jersey at all at one point. All speculation ceased to exist when a tweet from @NikeWomen was sent out late April of 2012:
It is now June 29th and we’re less than 30 days away from the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic games. The new USWNT home and away kits will be available for purchase tomorrow, June 30th according to @NikeSoccer:
So what’s their game plan for selling the Hope Solo jersey? I don’t know to be honest, but here’s what I think it SHOULD be or SHOULD HAVE BEEN since it’s kind of late now:
1.) Make it available for pre-order. That way, based on the demand for the product, you can decide whether or not to make it available in men’s or children’s sizes (given that the consumer sends emails/tweets complaining about it only being available for women)
2.) There should be an official release date, like the ones for the new USWNT home and away kits. The term “soon” doesn’t really cut it for me. It would make the most sense to release it on the same day. It would bring attention to both the players’ kits and Hope’s.
3.) Pricing is a big deal. The new player kits and the goalkeeper kits will most likely be different in price. Why? Because it costs more to mass produce a goalkeeper jersey since the cut is completely different. I just want it to be affordable. Anywhere between $110-$130 is reasonable, in my opinion.
4.) Make sure she wears it. I cannot stress that enough. Why would I buy the jersey if she’s never going to wear it? We’ve seen her in the blue and white kit, but not yet in the black, which is the color that is rumored to be available for sale. Here’s a thought – she should wear it tomorrow in the send-off match against Canada. What better way to market the black kit?
I am kind of surprised that Nike hasn’t really done anything to market it yet. It seems odd to me considering that they’re already marketing the new players’ kits. Why not drop a line about the Hope Solo jersey? It’s frustrating for me as a fan to sit back and wait for tweets from @Nike, @NikeWomen, @NikeSoccer, or @TheNikeGods (which doesn’t exist but I would follow them for sure if it did) to say something definitive and binding. I expected better from them considering how well they market everything else (or I’m just a sucker for all things Nike and I’d buy ice from them if they sold it, anyway). Hope is the face of their products and their brand. She gets the job done on and off the field. As a reflection of herself, I wish that Nike would have done the same for her fans.
When all is said and done, I would really like to thank Nike, Hope, and US Soccer. All three have played a part in having her jersey released. But the people I’d like to thank even MORE are you all, the fans, who created the demand and never, ever stopped. It has been a long time coming and it’s because of all of you that any of this is even possible. Thank you.