In the light of Hurley's implosion and subsequent ripple effect to other surf co's, it's a decision that now seems positively divine.
Two thousand and eight seems a lifetime ago, don’t it.
I was busying myself on a niche magazine, had friends, a functioning hip, children, a wife that was in love with me more or less, cash in the bank and a dark side which I was careful to only explore while abroad.
Like I said, a lifetime ago.
But it was in the otherwise unremarkable year of 2008 when twenty-year-old Jordy Smith, touted, then, as a world title certainty, made a decision that, in the light of Hurley’s recent implosion and subsequent ripple effect to other surf co’s, seems positively divine,
Do you remember?
Big bidding war.
Everyone wants the kid before his rookie year on tour.
Eventually the suitors slim down to O’Neill and Nike.
Nike offers five-mill, O’Neil two.
Nike pulls in the heavy-hitters.
Tiger Wood calls Jordy. They speak for forty-five minutes.
Michael Jordan sends Jordy an email reflecting on the similarities of their name. Jordan Michael Smith.
An advertising campaign is planned with the slogan Air Jordy.
Jordy receives, in the mail, the boot Ronaldo used to kick a goal in a World Cup final.
Another day, he gets a set of Tiger’ clubs.
Jordy is flown to Nike’s US headquarters to meet the company’s co-founder Phil Knight.
“He gave me advice on how he went about it when he was my age, and told me about the company he was with,” Smith will tell The Sydney Morning Herald. “It was kind of baffling in the beginning. You don’t know what to say because he’s such a high-profile guy, but you just cruise with it.”
So what’s Jordy do?
He signs with O’Neill, for three million bucks less, because they’re in the game for the long haul.
A dozen years later, he’s got a beach house at Log Cabins, is successfully enduring marriage, is rated third in the world and, still…
He draws honey from the O’Neill teat, long after Nike, and now Hurley, gave up on surf.
A prophet, one might say.