When you see Tiger Woods sporting this pair of kicks this spring, you have Dane Thompson (@DaneJThompson) to thank.
In a contest Nike Golf announced this past December, fans had the chance to design a shoe Tiger Woods would wear this season. This was the first time Nike held such a contest, and the TW’14 is the first Nike Golf shoe available for customization. Thompson's design was specifically selected by Woods, himself.
The shoe Thompson designed has a patriotic theme with a white leather upper, blue midsole, and red Nike Swoosh, Nike Flywire and lace highlights. The shoe's inspiration was to support team USA in the upcoming Olympics and the 2014 Ryder Cup, as well as support Tiger in red, white, and blue at the 2014 U.S. Open.
"When I saw the contest and that it was for Tiger Woods, I knew I had to come up with something fitting," Thompson told GolfChannel.com in an email. "The patriotic theme kind of hit home when thinking about specific events affecting Tiger coming up in 2014. The shoe itself didn't take to long to design once I had the idea. It was just making sure the colors and features fit together."
So just who is this Dane Thompson character?
He's a 23-year-old University of Northern Iowa grad who can be found at The Other Place, at restaurant and bar in Cedar Falls where he serves as the general manager. When he's not working, golfing or following Tiger's action on the weekends, Thompson likes to sing and make up songs about random things he witnesses.
Thompson has been playing golf pretty much his entire life and says he's gotten a lot more serious about it as he's gotten older. Woods is his favorite golfer.
Aside from the pride of designing Tiger's favorite customized Nike TW'14 shoe, Thompson will have his design worn by Tiger on Tour in the early part of the 2014 season. Also, Thompson will receive a pair of the Nike TW'14 he designed.
"I think Tiger is poised for a big year, something similar to last year in terms of wins, plus a couple of majors. That's where I got most of the motivation for the design. Why not the U.S. Open and a Ryder Cup win?!"