In recent years neon accessories and clothing have been a huge hit in the clothing industry, receiving endorsements from fashion magazines such as Vogue, Seventeen, and Cosmo. However another realm, neon, is now beginning to influence is athletics. Neon is generating an enormous impact in athletic culture shown by its sponsorship by Nike in the Summer Olympics this summer and even its emergence in Archer Athletics.
Major sports corporations, such as Adidas and Nike, are replacing their traditional black, white, navy, and gray products for those in shades of highlighter and electric pinks, greens, yellows, and blues. In the London Summer Olympics this year over 400 athletes m
ade a bold statement by sporting Nike’s “Volt” footwear in neon green on both the track and the field.
Nike, the official sponsor of the games, also provided pairs of brightly-colored shoes to American athletes who placed, as a part of the Nike’s US medal stand footwear and apparel collection. These fluorescent shoes were sported by athletes such as Missy Franklin (Four-Time Gold Winner Swimmer) and Gabby Douglas (Gymnastics All-Around Champion) multiple times on the medal podium.
As for Archer, it’s hard to miss the flash of fluorescent yellow in the hallway from our fitness coaches and peers wearing the T-shirts from last year’s track season. Last year was the first year in which Archer used a neon-colored shirt as the official team shirt, and the shirts have garnered mostly positive reviews.
Geffen Treiman, a member of both the track and soccer teams, believes that “neon is really great because it is intimidating and it shows that you are confident. It is original and distinguishes you.” Similarly, tri-sport athlete Nahal Shakib explains, “when participating in track, neon makes you look like you are running a lot faster, so our team really likes to wear it a lot. It’s bright and makes you stand out of the crowd.”
Nahal is correct when she states neon colors make individuals “stand out of the crowd”. Neon, highlighter, and fluorescent colors have been scientifically proven to draw our attention. Martin Lotti, Nike’s Global Creative Director for the Summer Olympics, mentions that the fluorescent yellow that was worn by Olympians throughout the games “is the most visible color to the human eye,” making the color pop or stand out in contrast to other athletes and their environment.
Ms. Sonderleiter, Archer’s Chemistry and Honors Research and Science teacher confirms the human’s eye attraction to neon. She explains objects that are neon contain pigments that are efficient in absorbing high frequency light and emitting lower frequency light, thus giving the object a luminous or fluorescent hue.
Maybe that’s why senior Sheila Alexander says, “The neon track shirts are extremely bright and they blind you. When I see someone walking down the hallway wearing the neon track shirt I say, ‘Ah I can’t see!’”
With neon’s high marketable and commercial demand, don’t be surprised if you see more neon in the hallway as it catches on to more Archer sports.
Featured Image: These shows were made for running. Photographer: Daniella Morrison ’13