The Story Of Nike’s Street Fighter Sneaker And Its Botched Release

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The Story Of Nike’s Street Fighter Sneaker And Its Botched Release

Evo Moment 37 is one of the most famous showdowns in video game history, a comeback so incredible that even those of you who know nothing about fighting games have probably seen it at some point. It’s so important, in fact, that to mark the occasion, a few years back Nike started working on a shoe designed specifically to commemorate the fight.

It’s a surprisingly long and strange story. It starts with Mark Julio, who is currently director of business development at fighting game tournament EVO. A decade ago was working at peripheral company Mad Catz, which at the time sponsored Daigo, one of the fighters involved in Evo Moment 37 (the other was Justin Wong). A sneakerhead, Julio had long dreamed of a Nike shoe focused on the fighting game community (FGC), and so in the early 2010s started reaching out to Nike to see if they were interested.

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“I got a few replies”, he tells Kotaku. “We had a few calls over the years. It wasn’t until many years later in 2019 when I met with Nike’s Hayden Walling and we brainstormed/planned a sneaker that celebrated the fighting game community; in particular Evo Moment 37. Hayden pitched it internally at Nike and we were off to the races.”

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