words // Zack Schlemmer
"Bo Knows" is one of the all time classic ad campaigns for not just sneakers or Nike, but all of advertising. Bo Jackson, one of the greatest athletes of our time, was the first to play both professional baseball and football in the same year. Consequently, that made him the perfect spokesman for Nike's Cross-Training line, which has always been geared towards footwear designed to perform for a variety of sports.
This commercial is the original Bo Knows ad from 1989. It features Bo Jackson and another Bo: Bo Diddley, a legendary rhythm and blues guitarist and vocalist. It also features a cast of all star athletes claiming that Bo knows a wide range of sports including baseball with Kirk Gibson, football with Jim Everett, basketball with Michael Jordan, tennis with John Mcenroe, hockey(maybe not?) with Wayne Gretzky, cycling, running, and weight lifting. All of these sports, as the commercial demonstrates, can all be done while wearing a Nike cross trainer. In this case, we get a look at the original Air Trainer SC II in the "Citron" colorway that just recently retroed.
Designed by none other than Tinker Hatfield the SC II was one of the techiest shoes of the time with a removable forefoot strap, inner bootie that molds to your foot, and visible Air Sole in the heel. But the most interesting tech feature of this shoe was its use of Mylar strips for support which were the same idea as Nike's Flywire, but almost 20 years before Flywire was introduced. (Read the Sole Collector interview with Tinker on Nike Cross Training and the SC II here.)
One of the favorites among Nike Cross Training fans, many of us were delighted to see a retro for this iconic shoe in two of its original colorways, the "Citron" and "Infrared". Which colorway did you pick up? Anybody remember seeing the Bo Knows commercials when they first aired? Share your thoughts in the comments below.