UNI alumnus wins Nike design contest

It was a regular day at work for Dane Thompson, UNI alumnus and general manager of the Other Place American Sports Grill & Pizzeria, until he checked Twitter. Thompson had received a tweet from Tiger Woods announcing him as the winner of a Nike shoe design contest. Thompson had entered the contest in December just for fun and didn't expect to win.

Nike Design Contest
Tiger Woods will wear a pair of golf shoes UNI alumnus Dane Thompson designed as part of a Nike shoe design contest.

"I was speechless," Thompson said. "To know that he picked mine out of all the submissions was crazy."

The contest was held to help promote the first pair of golf shoes available for customization on the Nike iD website. Thompson's design features a patriotic red, white and blue color scheme, inspired by the Winter Olympics, 2014 Ryder Cup and 2014 U.S. Open. Woods will wear the shoes on tour this year, and Thompson will get a pair for himself.

Not only is this a huge honor for Thompson, who's a big fan of Woods, but he'll get some use out of the shoes. An avid golfer, Thompson and his close family take a three-day golfing trip each year, traveling to places like Florida and South Carolina. "It's something cool to do together," he said. "It's nice to share that bond on the golf course with friends and family."

Thompson grew up playing sports with his father and brothers in their hometown of Cedar Falls. His love of sports continued when he came to UNI in 2008 to play on UNI's Club Baseball team. In addition to maintaining his family's athletic history, Thompson followed in his father's footsteps by majoring in business management (his dad is an alumnus of UNI's College of Business Administration).

However, he's not just about tradition. Today, Thompson is trying to travel down his own path. Within five years, he'd like to move to a city like Des Moines to explore new opportunities. "I kind of want to see what else there is to offer," he said. "Especially being around here my whole life, I need to get away for a couple of years and see what else there is."

While he loves his job at The Other Place, Thompson would like to explore his passion for sports in the future. "I'd love to work on the business end of a golf course or in a sports management office," he said. "Or even, after this contest, working for a place like Nike would be a dream job."

Thompson's winning-design shoes are available for purchase on the Nike website.