In this week's AB Extra, you'll find news about Nike's response to a ban by CrossFit, a rebranding of a Canadian town to welcome a new hockey arena and the United States' top swimming city.
Nike Releases Sneaker in Response to CrossFit Ban
Thanks to an official partnership, Reebok dominates the CrossFit market. Some pretty drastic steps have been taken to make sure it remains that way, such as only allowing Reebok products to be worn at the highest levels of CrossFit competitions or CrossFit asking media publications to remove its name from any article that isn't directly associated with Reebok product.
Nike isn't going for this anymore. The company will release a new color of its "CrossFit" shoe that is similar to the "Banned" theme of the Air Jordan 1 basketball shoe, which Michael Jordan wasn't allowed to wear on the court during his playing days.
Nike released a statement about the shoes, taking aim at Reebok and CrossFit. "During the biggest event in the world of high-intensity training, our athletes have been banned from wearing the Metcon 1. This colorway pays homage to Nike’s first outlawed shoe, the Air Jordan 1, and it’s designed to stand strong in any competition—whether it’s allowed or not."
The shoes, which come with the slogan "Don't ban our shoe. Beat our shoe.", were released to the public on July 16th for the price of $130. Customers are allowed to buy up to two pairs of the statement-making shoes.
Nike Fined for Putting Jersey on Statue of Winston Churchill
In other Nike news, the company was fined $74,000 for their part in a 2011 stunt where a huge French basketball jersey was put on a statue of Winston Churchill in Paris, France to mark the French basketball team qualifying for the European championships and the London Olympics.
Jean Cardot, the sculptor of the statue, was not pleased with the adornment and sued Nike and French events company Ubi Bene, alleging that his work had been defiled and the two companies had not asked permission to put the jersey on the statue.
The Paris court ruled in favor of Cardot last month and ordered the companies to pay up.
The sculpture was unveiled in 1998 and is one of the few sculptures of people throughout Paris who aren't French. It's located on Avenue Winston Churchill near the Champs Elysees.
Edmonton Rebrands Downtown to Celebrate Hockey Heritage
Going forward, the arena district in downtown Edmonton will be known as the Ice District. The area includes the new Rogers Arena, which will be home to Edmonton Oilers and opens in 2016.
The name for the district comes as part of a rebranding effort for the area by the Katz Group. The Ice District reflects the "celebration of Edmonton's winter city status and the sport that fuels our passion - hockey," the Katz Group said.
Oilers CEO Bob Nicholson said the district will eventually become "the largest mixed-use sports and entertainment district in Canada."
The Ice District encompasses over 25 acres and according to Nicholson, it will be "the most advanced sports and entertainment venue in North America."
UGA Football Player Authors Children’s Book
One Georgia Bulldog, known as the team "nerd" due to his penchant for a local book club, is now an author. Malcolm Mitchell wrote the children's book called The Magician's Hat, which is inspired by books he's read in his past, as well as children he's worked with in the community.
Mitchell showed up at the SEC media days session on Thursday with a copy of the book, which is bound and illustrated and appears to have been published. He read an excerpt from the book during his press conference.
This is a huge accomplishment for Mitchell who arrived at the University of Georgia with a middle school reading level. In 2014, he told CBS' Steve Hartman that he appreciates his "nerd" label.
"[Nerd]'s not a word that I'm used to hearing. I was proud of it. It's like a badge of honor to me, knowing where I came from."
Ann Arbor Named 'America's Top Swim City' by USA Swimming
For the second straight year, Ann Arbor, Michigan was named the best swimming city in the country in a study by USA Swimming.
The study was commissioned by USA Swimming and Speedo in partnership with SRi and Sports Marketing Surveys. They compiled the rankings based on an aggregate score in categories including percentage of active swimmers and swim clubs, number of accessible pools and volume of top-level swimmers from the area.
Ann Arbor has the largest percentage of top USA Swimming athletes per population and the second-highest number of pool facilities per population of any city in the country. More than 60 Olympians came through the University of Michigan’s swim program.
According to 2012 Olympian and former University of Michigan swimmer Tyler Clary, “People love swimming in Ann Arbor and the community rallies around the sport. This honor is also a testament to the University of Michigan swim program and how it has inspired the entire city of Ann Arbor to get in the water. The combination of Club Wolverine, the university, city residents and Club Wolverine Swim Camp as one of the most successful swim camps in the country, is evidence of why the Ann Arbor swim community is so great.”
A full list of the top swimming cities can be found on USA Swimming's website.