During the evening of January 28, outside the courtyard of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s Two Waters Complex, Sam McCracken, general manager and visionary behind the Nike N7 brand, showed his appreciation to the Community and its youth through a check presentation. On behalf of Nike N7, McCracken presented SRPMIC Vice-President Martin Harvier with a check for $20,000, which will go to fund a physical-activity program through the SRPMIC Recreation Department.
N7 Desert Journey Collection
“We always want to honor the communities we work with,” explained McCracken. “And since the Super Bowl was hosted here in the state of Arizona and in the SRPMIC territory, Nike wanted to start a collection product and promote it in that time, so I connected Nike with a local artist who is from the SRPMIC named Dwayne Manuel.” McCracken was able to connect with Manuel with the help of Robert Johnston who provided his name to McCracken.
The press release from Nike states: “To honor the location of this year’s big game, Nike enlisted the talents of O’odham tribe member Dwayne Manuel, MFA, who specializes in drawing and graffiti art and resides in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. Manuel’s design for Nike Sportswear’s new Desert Journey collection interprets two traditional symbols, the war shield and the whirlwind, which together reflect Manuel’s heritage and illustrate the modern competitor’s long, battle-filled journey to reach the final destination.”
The Desert Journey sportswear collection, which includes athletic shoes and hats, features war shield and whirlwind tribal designs from the O’odham and Piipaash and also incorporates the Man in the Maze design.
Proceeds from N7 products go directly back to the youth, and with that McCracken asked the company to make a contribution from sales of Manuel’s collection and have it go directly to the SRPMIC to inspire and enable youth of the Community to participate in sports and physical activities.
The Nike N7 program works with tribes across the country, inspiring all Native Americans and Indigenous peoples to participate in sports and physical activities.
“We want to be a part of this Community and continue to establish our relationship with the SRPMIC and help promote physical activity within Native American youth,” said McCracken.
“We appreciate everything N7 does with us, and I am glad Sam reached out to a Community member (Manuel),” said Harvier. “We look at this as seed money to help promote fitness.”
2015 Physical Fitness Camp
Later that evening, Nike N7 hosted a 2015 Physical Fitness Camp on the soccer field at Salt River Fields at the Talking Stick Cultural and Entertainment Destination. Approximately 130 youth from nine tribal communities participated in the physical-activity clinic, which had a football theme but was geared to all fitness and age levels. Youth and teens rotated through six physical-fitness stations, such as running and catching a football and conditioning drills such as backpedal, shuffle and break drills, hurdles and throwing, to name a few.
Special guests at the clinic included Cameron Jordan of the New Orleans Saints and Desmond Trufant of the Atlanta Falcons. Nike N7 ambassador and USA Olympic Trials qualifier Alvina Begay (Navajo) also attended.
“I personally do a lot of running. I try to get at least 100 miles a week in,” said Begay.
Dallas Cowboys cheerleader and N7 ambassador Veronica Lind, who has ties with Fort Defiance, said, “I want to make sure everyone here at the clinic has a fun time and the opportunity to grow and become stronger.”