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The trend of "Champagne Goggles" in the NBA

Nike, Oakley, PUMA: all ready to "protect" the champions

The trend of Champagne Goggles in the NBA Nike, Oakley, PUMA: all ready to protect the champions

***UPDATE 21/07/2021***
The Milwaukee Bucks are the new NBA champions and one of the most interesting peculiarities is to see how the players have used the Goggles Glasses, the glasses that protect against champagne - or beer, given the origin of the champions - flowing freely in the locker room. Giannis ANtetokounmpo has been the go-to-guy all season and his giant Swoosh on protective eyewear speaks volumes about Nike's rosy future that has singled out the Greek as the new face that will soon replace LeBron James. Less charming is coach Mike Budenholzer, with a version of the Goggles more like a 70s skier than an NBA champion.

What could be a better way to celebrate a triumphant victory than pouring champagne over your teammates heads? The feeling of liberation that the act of uncorking a bottle causes is unparalleled, but it also has drawbacks. For this reason, especially in the American vision of sport, it is useful to wear what for about ten years have been renamed as "champagne glasses" - more commonly called goggles.

The last to do so were the Los Angeles Lakers, new NBA champions for 2019-2020. The symbolic scene of celebrations is a symptom of a trend that has accompanied American sport for almost 10 years: "Where's my goggles?!" asks immediately the 4 times MVP of the Finals LeBron James, as if you could not access the locker room - already completely cold before the arrival of the players - without the new must of the winners.

The institutional answer to the reason why ordinary ski goggles are used during the crazy celebrations of a victory lies precisely in those contraindications, both of the champagne and of the party atmosphere itself. Let's start from the scientific reason: champagne contains a non-negligible percentage of alcohol, especially when it is a champagne of a certain value - the Golden State Warriors to celebrate the 2018 NBA title have spent half a million dollars only on beverages; alcohol if it comes into contact with the eyes significantly can cause damage. Secondly, there is a quantitative problem: at least 50 bottles of champagne are opened during the celebrations, with an uncontrolled and uncontrollable opening frequency. The glasses, again according to the diplomatic version, are used to prevent the cork from hitting the eye at high speed.

But the only real version is that the brands that produce this accessory are ready to offer it to top players to have a considerable visibility. And viceversa. Often it is the same players who request them from their technical sponsors, to increase the visibility of the brand linked to their face - just think that in the 4 NBA titles, LeBron has 4 different models of ski goggles with swoosh. There are not only brands related to basketball. Ray Allen (the true founder of the movement), Andre Iguodala and Kawhi Leonard are among those who have chosen Oakley, while Speights and Lowry have also brought adidas to the celebrations. In this new race for visibility, PUMA has also been added this year thanks to Kyle Kuzma and Danny Green, both champions with the Lakers and both in the locker room, posing for the usual photos and at a press conference with the German brand logo on the lenses.

The trend, as mentioned, was born thanks to Walter Ray Allen, one of the first who in 2013 brought a white, red and gold Oakley model like his Miami Heat to the locker room. As always in the US, there are those who take sides against these commercial and aesthetic aspects of off-the-court basketball. There are those who believe it is little for men to protect themselves while the celebrations and would like more celebration as Shaq and Kobe, D-Wade, the big three of the Boston Celtics or even more distant MJ and Magic Johnson were once used to do. But times have changed and champagne goggles seem unstoppable.

From 2013 to today, the tend has evolved considerably, with custom versions of the goggles and with team versions, as in the case of the incredible 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers. The race for visibility in the most photographed moment of glory in history has already started and the brands they are ready to be there when the stakes are so high.