When you are the biggest company in soccer equipment, very few of your moves can be made without intense speculation and scrutiny. As Nike prepares for the onslaught of 2016 and the upcoming Euros, there are definitely some big things on the horizon for the Swoosh. However, all eyes are currently on a rapidly developing story that has us all scratching our heads…why are so many headline Hypervenom athletes ditching their boot?
The first real spot of intrigue came when the main Hypervenom athlete, Neymar, chose to switch to the Vapor X. A few spots of Neymar using the X in practice rattled a few cages, but most of the whispers were silenced when Neymar stepped out for a match in the newest purple Hypervenom. However, our questions quickly returned when close-up pictures showed that the Brazilian attacker was actually wearing a Vapor X completely disguised to look like a Hypervenom!
What was happening with the face of the silo?
While only one player making a boot switch could simply signify Neymar’s personal preferences not matching up with the Hypervenom II, the exodus had only just begun. Within the last few days, we have seen Mandzukic, Aubameyang, Isco, Kovacic, and smaller profile players like Liverpool’s Ibe leaving the realm of the Hypervenom and into the Mercurial waters. With the majority choosing to continue Nike life with the Vapor X, Aubameyang just scored a bucketful of goals wearing the SuperFly IV…and we don’t really see all of these players scurrying back to the Venom any time soon.
So, what does this mean?
For those of us that remember the months leading up to the Hypervenom replacing the T90, this doesn’t feel the same. Those players stayed in the old boot all the way up until a new boot was released, so we don’t think that the Hypervenom II is about to be completely removed. The only move that would have us thinking the Venom is about to die is if we see Harry Kane, Rooney, and Lewandowski slipping on a different boot…
While there is no proof as of yet to what is causing this massive shift in silo allegiance, there are a few plausible options out there. One thought is that Nike is gearing up to promote the Vapor X in the build up to 2016. It does seem odd that a brand would want to promote a boot at a lower price point than the collared Venom II, but there could be a long-term idea attached. Another idea could totally trickle down to a super coincidence of players looking for a different feel. The Vapor X is a high quality boot, and all of these players would definitely enjoy the feel that the boot provides.
We will definitely keep a close eye on this situation and see where the story goes. What do you think this means? What does the future hold for Nike and their four silos?