Nike officially opened its first store in the DC area today, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebration of the Nike Georgetown store at 3040 M Street. The store has been in the works for some time now, and replaces the Barnes and Noble which was a mainstay in the area until last year. The superstore is one of nine in the country for Nike, and covers 31,000 square feet.
The morning included remarks from legendary Hoyas basketball coach John Thompson Jr. and his son, current Georgetown coach John Thompson III. Former Hoya and NBA Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing and US Olympic soccer player Brandi Chastain were also present for some of the day’s festivities.
“We are proud to partner with the Georgetown community,” said Nike’s North America Vice President and General Manager Elliott Hill in a statement. “Washington D.C. has a rich sports culture and we look forward to inspiring and serving athletes of all levels.”
More on the unique Georgetown elements of the store and a slideshow with pictures from the day after the jump.
The elder Thompson, who led the Blue and Gray to a national championship in 1984, is honored with a commemorative display in the store. It features jerseys from some of his most memorable players, a list that includes Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, and Dikembe Mutombo. The display adds a personal touch with a series of white towels chronicling Thompson’s basketball career; the imposing Thompson became notorious over his coaching career for manning the sidelines with a white towel draped over his shoulder. Lastly, the tribute features a Thompson quote lit up in neon that reads, “Don’t let the sum total of your existence be 8-10 pounds of air.” Vox assumes he is referring to basketballs (which actually weigh closer to 1.5 pounds), but the message of focusing on life off the court is loud and clear.
The Georgetown influence on the new store doesn’t end there, either, as the store features Georgetown apparel ranging from basketball to track and field along with a display of blue and gray Air Jordans. This is an extension of Nike and Georgetown’s strong relationship, as all varsity athletic teams on the Hilltop wear apparel from the sports giant.
Photos by Christina Liang