With great sorrow, we bid adieu to a true legend of the sneaker world. Sandy Bodecker joined Nike in 1982. In the decades that followed, he was involved in some of the most significant developments at the Swoosh, but his role overseeing the launch of Nike SB remains his most celebrated achievement.
With its focus on artistic individuality, creative collaboration, and epic limited edition product drops, Nike SB ruled and defined the sneaker game for close to a decade. None of it would have been possible without Sandy's genuine passion and appreciation for both skateboarding and what would later become known as sneaker culture.
Coincidentally, Sneaker Freaker and Nike SB started in the same year. Sandy was based in Melbourne for some time in the early 2000s and, at the time, was married to Cathy Freeman — a local Olympian and Nike athlete.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Sandy back in 2002 about the birth of Nike SB. My abiding memory of that experience was that my machine ate up the tape! I was beyond mortified but, ever the gentleman, Sandy graciously rescheduled and round two remains one of the few interviews from the early period of SB history. We also talked quite a bit about the cross trainer era and his time at the helm of Nike soccer. Those brief chats would have made solid features in their own right. Sandy knew how to culturally connect the dots, and he definitely played for keeps.
More recently, we caught up again for our Nike SB retrospective in Issue 38. As ever, Sandy was very generous with his time. The resulting feature now stands as a monument to his remarkable career.
Having fought a long and brutal battle with the big C, Sandy remained a tough adversary right to the end. His presence will be sorely missed by his friends and Nike colleagues. On behalf of everyone at Sneaker Freaker, rest in peace mate.