As the number of days left trickle down until the much awaited rematch between the Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao and Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera (October 6, 2007), I couldn't help but notice the hype among Filipinos as they prepare for another victory. The fight will be televised live, even projected at theaters in major malls (and even in remote town plazas). Posters and ads line up every street announcing the fight. Of course, corporate giants are hard at work taking advantage of this unprecedented media coverage.
One thing that caught my attention most is Nike's endorsement for Manny Pacquiao which added more glamor to the boxer's already superstar status. Not only did it not fail to catch my attention since I frequent Nike Park/Stadium stores, but Nike made history by creating a personalized crest and logo for him, and blatantly shows this in advertising materials all around the stores.
The crest designed by Mike Friolo, will be emblazoned over at the back of Manny Pacquiao's red and white robe on October 6. According to Nike's website, Manny, because of his will to fight to live his sports dream, is worthy of a heraldic display. The elements in the crest draw inspiration from aspects of Manny's life and country. The sun and stars reflect the Philippine Flag and just like the flag, the stars represent the 3 major island groups: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, with the Mindanao star as the largest, being the island where Manny was born. Being a powerful southpaw boxer, a left gloved fist is prominently displayed in the middle, along with 6 other fists representing the massive following and support of the Filipino people. The national bird of the Philippines (the monkey-eating eagle) is also centrally featured to symbolize his extraordinary courage. The crest also bears other symbols that reflect the Filipino heritage: banana leaves, tattoo-style flames and waves and the sampaguita, the country's national flower that represents purity, humility and strength. The crest abounds with Filipino symbolisms and invokes pride in any Filipino who sees it. I think it is a well-crafted crest that matches Manny Pacquiao's kingly status. Though the crest successfully raises feelings of nationalism, one thing I'm missing is Manny's veneration and devotion to God, the only one that he fights for more than the country. I think it should be represented as well in the crest. But aside from that, the crest is faultless.
The "MP" logo is similarly well made. Done in a style that could rival the logos of other athletes (particularly the basketball players), one can't help but be drawn to it (I was! In fact, I noticed this logo first before being drawn to his crest). It has enough nationalism (thanks to the allusions to the Filipino flag particularly through the sun and its symmetry) and ethnicity (font treatment to the M and P…almost tribal). I liked this logo so much I used it as one of my main inspirations for the logo I made for our Body Combat team (which I will blog about next week)(After all, October 6 is not only Manny Pacquiao day for me, but it is also the day where I, together with the Fitness First Metro East team will compete in the 2007 Body Combat Challenge).
Now, I am still looking for the limited-edition red/white Dri-fit shirts that bear the crest and logos. If anyone manages to see one, please oh please get it for me (My size: M).
Naturally, I think Manny Pacquiao will win. I predict that it will be a fast fight, not going beyond 5 rounds, via knock-out. What do you think?