Honoring Steve Prefontaine: Nike’s 2007 Vintage Running Campaign

Jan 25, 2012 | Brittany Shelton |

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?To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.? ? Steve Prefontaine

Mustachioed running legend Steve Prefontaine would have turned 61 today had he not died tragically in a Eugene, Oregon car accident prior to the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Pre was a prolific middle and long-distance runner who helped transform Eugene into Track Town, USA with his athletic success at the University of Oregon. Pre?s legacy, however, also endures because he remains one of the icons that helped launch the Nike brand thanks to his relationship with Oregon track coach and Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman. Therefore, in honor of the famous runner?s birthday, we invite you to take a look back at the elaborate 2007 campaign (created for Nike by Portland?s Opolis Design) that ideally honored the legacy of Pre, the 1970s running boom, and the classic kicks that helped make Nike what it is today. Even though it has been 37 years since Pre’s death, ?The mustache rides again.?

Oregon Runner

The basis of the now five-year-old Nike Vintage Running campaign was a retro-looking issue of the fictional ?Oregon Runner? magazine meticulously crafted to market the Swoosh’s forthcoming 70s-inspired products. The runner on the 1977 cover is sporting a signature Pre ?stache, vintage Nike running gear and can be seen jogging through the woods, presumably training on the trail now dedicated to the track legend and native Oregonian in Eugene?s Alton Baker Park. One of the cover?s many details even humorously alludes to the fact that the magazine has been, ?Pulling Groins Since 1972.? Ouch.

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