Brand Conscious

Back in college, we had the luxury of corporate sponsors. In the five years I spent donning the Blue and White, I never had to pay for our provincial meets, board and lodging and, of course, racing kits. Now that I’m training solo, I’ve learned to appreciate those benefits even more. Case in point are my track and field apparel and footwear.

My athletics wardrobe took a drastic turn after my college track days. I traded most of my old kits to former competitors. I’ve been quite stingy with my Ateneo clothing until then. Facing retirement, I saw no point in hanging on to those mementos. What better way to honor my adversaries than to exchange race kits. Little did I know that a serious athletics renaissance was bound to take place.

As a kid, I drooled for all things Nike. Michael Jordan and the popularity of the Air Max series played a big part fanning the fires. This love affair with the swoosh endured well into high school and the early parts of college. The Adidas-sponsored Ateneo kits were the turning point. I found the three stripes particularly bad-ass. And the Adidas stuff kept on coming, albeit in relatively modest terms compared to the Seniors’ Basketball team! Nevertheless, I was very content with my form-fitting Adidas tank tops, sleek short shorts and my aggressively-designed Demolishers!

Now that I’m paying for my own track stuff, I became less brand-conscious. In the months since my comeback, I’ve bought Mizuno and Nike tops; Nike and Umbro running shoes and New Balance spikes. The only new Adidas stuff in my repertoire are Techfit compression shorts, Response tights and a Japanese football jersey – a prized find from a used clothing shop.

Professional athletes (and talented collegiate basketball players) are fortunate to have corporate sponsors. I do not have the luxury of free stuff, so I make the most out of every buying opportunity with my limited budget. As they say, beggars can’t be choosers!

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