By Christopher Ruvo | asicentral.com
There are a lot of rewards to being an Olympian – the excitement that comes with reaching the pinnacle of your sport, the pride that family, friends and the country feel in you, the opportunity to go down in history.
And, of course, no shortage of totally top-shelf branded merchandise gifted to you in a swag bag that could make even attendees of the Oscars jealous.
Members of Team USA have posted about their free merch haul on social media, generating keen interest and envy in the choice U.S.-branded selections they’ll take home as forever collectibles from their times at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (being competed in summer 2021).
“If I knew Olympians got all that free stuff, maybe I would’ve been athletic,” wrote one commenter on a TikTok video posted by Katie Nageotte, a Team USA pole vaulter whose video showcased the incredible contents of her swag bag. Nageotte’s video had nearly 712,000 likes and 3,370 comments as of this writing.
“I want to go to the Olympics just to get free merch now,” wrote another commenter on a TikTok about the Olympic merch posted by Cody Melphy, an Olympian who plays on the U.S. rugby team. Melphy’s video had 1.8 million likes and more than 6,600 comments as of this writing.
Nageotte’s video, which can be viewed above, begins by showing U.S. Olympic-branded apparel from Kim Kardashian’s SKIMS brand. Items include robes, intimates and a T-shirt. “Thank You Kim Kardashian,” Nageotte says.
Next, Nageotte showcases footwear from Nike, including sliders and sneakers, before showing off a handful or so of stylish Oakley sunglasses. Then follows a USA Nike duffle and a backpack stuffed with Nike socks, a face mask and watch, which came from the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee.
Thereafter comes the motherload of apparel gifts, from T-shirts, hoodies and hats, to sports bras, polos, tank tops, rompers and more. A tie-dye bucket hat and a fanny pack wink at current fun merch trends, too.
“You name it, we got it,” says Nageotte. “I think I’m set on red, white and blue clothes for the rest of my life.”
If all the apparel wasn’t already enough of a windfall, Samsung sent earbuds and a new phone to athletes, too. Nageotte was well impressed: “I mean, come on!” she said.
Both videos highlight how when there’s a big moment or event, merch always has a role to play. And maybe more importantly, both videos and comments demonstrate how that merch can surprise and delight, building joy and fueling memories.