"Nike Georgetown is officially open for business!" said Tim Hershey, Vice President of Nike Retail North America, at 10:01 this morning in the Georgetown Nike store front at 3040 M St., NW.
Hall of Fame Hoyas Basketball Coach, John Thompson, Jr., cut a Nike orange ribbon at 10 a.m. signifying the Grand Opening of the Georgetown Nike store that is ninth of its kind.
The West wall right inside of the store was commemorated to Thompson, who coached at Georgetown from 1972 to 1999. On the wall hangs a picture of Thompson and a white-neon sign of a phrase he once said to his players: "Don't let the sum total of your existence be 8-10 pounds of air."
Thompson stood in front of the wall that holds his picture with his grandchildren at his side. He said he remembered at time when he and his players had to "walk up and down" M Street seeking support for the basketball team.
"Nike...was one of the few corporations that jumped in to help us," he said.
Hershey said Nike could have located in a few different places in the D.C. metro area, but it choose Georgetown because of the "very long and valued partnership with Coach Thompson and the University" and the area's "rich history and heritage."
"I wish we had done it ten years ago," said Hershey.
The three-story, 29,000-square-foot Georgetown store connected with escalators offers more services than most Nike stores. Hershey said Nike renovated the old building that once housed Barnes and Noble with the mindset "addition by subtraction."
"We wanted to preserve the rich aesthetic of this store," said Hershey.
The first floor is devoted to women's apparel and contains a Nike+ FuelBand station—the $150 bands track daily exercise and caloric intake. The second floor is devoted to sports team apparel. More clothing, children's apparel and a Nikeid station are housed on the third floor.
Costumers can customize shoes and apparel for individuals or teams on the Apple Macintosh computers at the NikeiD station. Customer designed logos can be printed on apparel and purchased in the same day.
The store also offers a Nike+ Run Club and an exclusive women's running club. The Run+ Club begins on Oct. 30 at 6:30 p.m., and the women's club begins on Nov. 1 at 6:30 p.m. The clubs are free of charge and do not require registration. Runners can choose between a varied distance of routes to suit them best, and Nike "pacers" will lead the run.
More grand opening festivities will be held Thursday night. Starting at 6 p.m. the new store will offer "a Nike Training Club with Nike Master Trainer Marie Purvis, Nike+ Run Club 5K run, and a Q&A with Nike athletes," according to a press release.