Dezeen Magazine

Nike paints Los Angeles running track in pride flag colours

Running lanes of a refurbished track at Los Angeles City College are each painted a colour of the rainbow pride flag to advocate for the equality and inclusivity of LGBTQ+ athletes.

Nike BETRUE Track

Nike unveiled the track on National Coming Out Day on 11 October as part of their Be True campaign. The running field is dedicated to Gilbert Baker, the artist who designed the rainbow flag that has become a symbol of Pride.

"At Nike, we believe in the pursuit of equality for every athlete.," said Nike. "We honour every voice advocating for equality — those standing up to make a difference and Be True."

Nike BETRUE Track

The curved running lanes follow the order of Baker's iconic eight-striped flag design, starting with pink and ending with a ring of violet. Lane numbers, arrows and other necessary signage were painted over the coloured pathways.

Nike's design wraps around a grass covered area where a full-size soccer field and baseball diamond are situated. There is also a purple long jump runway and landing pit that were painted as part of the redesign.

Opposite the baseball field an area of the track was painted pink and features a printing of Baker's signature which rests alongside a large Nike swoosh logo.

"Together, Nike and Baker share a vision for a more inclusive culture through the power of sport, and are dedicated to providing inclusive spaces for LGBTQ+ athletes to practice the sports they love," the sports brand added.

Nike BETRUE Track

Nike launched its Be True campaign in 2012. It annually designs apparel and shoes that feature symbols and words associated with LGBTQ+ and pride. For this year's collection the brand worked with the Gilbert Baker Estate to create t-shirts, trainers and socks that pay tribute to the activist.

Nike has previously created artfully designed playing fields. In 2016 it collaborated with Brooklyn artist Kaws to paint the surfaces of two basketballs with colourful cartoons.

The rainbow track in Los Angeles follows other designs that have used the iconic pattern in their works. Fallon Kesicier attached coloured adhesive strips to the steps of Louis Khan's Four Freedoms State Park to celebrate Pride Month, while Burberry updated its widely recognised tartan to feature the rainbow colours.