Nike's Team USA World Cup Gear Not Made in the USA
In 2012, Ralph Lauren Corp. got shredded by U.S. politicians—and the public—when it was revealed that the company's Team USA London Olympics opening ceremony uniforms had been manufactured in China. In response, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown introduced the "Wear American Act of 2012," an effort to ensure that future apparel purchased by the federal government was 100 percent U.S.-made. Ralph Lauren learned its lesson, producing all of Team USA's Sochi Olympics apparel in America.
Nike, it seems, didn't get the memo.
CBS Detroit reported that much of Nike's retail U.S. World Cup gear is manufactured overseas. The news outlet found T-shirts (one featured large text reading "United States of America") made in Honduras and Turkey, and a polo shirt, emblazoned with the U.S. Men's National Team logo, made in Vietnam.
And while it's unclear whether Nike's official Team USA game uniforms are made in the U.S. or overseas, authentic replica jerseys available in stores and on Nike's webstore, listed as "the same away jersey national team players will wear on the field in Brazil," are made in Sri Lanka. (The product detail page on Nike's webstore lists the item only as "imported," but the country of origin is visible in a close-up image of the jersey.) This despite Nike operating 70 U.S. factories employing 12,495 workers, according to the company's sustainability website.
So far, Nike has avoided the kind of backlash Ralph Lauren faced over its Olympics uniforms. Most of the controversy surrounding the Team USA World Cup gear has centered on its appearance—critics of the away jersey say it looks too much like the French flag, or like a popsicle—but few news outlets beyond CBS Detroit have brought up its country of origin.