They may not be blue suede shoes, but custom blue OPB Nikes are just as hip — and no doubt more valuable.
Thanks to a board member who works for the shoe company, OPB’s directors are now sporting custom-made Pendleton-wool Nikes complete with the station’s logo on the tongue. They’re made from the famous blankets produced in Pendleton, Ore., and bear that tag on the back.
OPB President Steve Bass, who wore his with a tux to the Saturday Northwest Emmy Awards, said the shoes are “very comfortable and light. Despite the blanket material, they aren’t hot.”
Board member Tinker Hatfield, v.p. of innovation at Nike in Beaverton, Ore., came up with the idea. Hatfield is famous among sneaker aficionados for having designed several of the popular Air Jordan line of sneakers. He also sketches his interpretation of OPB board meetings on his iPad and shares the drawings with Bass.
At Hatfield’s request, board liaison Rad Probst surveyed the board for sizes, “which was a bit mysterious for everyone,” Bass said. “I thought Tinker was going to give everyone a pair of Nikes, but nothing custom.”
Hatfield did “an understated reveal” at last week’s board meeting, with Probst passing around a cobalt-blue shoe to the delight of directors.
Bass is retiring his pair to the station display case. And sorry, shoe fans, they won’t be for sale. “Tinker told me that these sort of very limited-run sneakers are quite attractive to collectors,” he said.