Nike Steps Up Its Game, Puts the Plus in Nike+


It’s been a big year for Nike, between the release of the FuelBand and Linsanity (yes, Nike is giving Jeremy Lin his own shoe already, the Nike Hyperfuse 2011 Linsanity PE). The brand continues to impress with a slew of announcements this week, unveiling innovations for basketball and summer sports.[more]

First up, meet the Nike Flyknit.

Designed for the track runner, the 5.6 ounce shoe — 19% lighter then the nike Zoom Streak 3, a shoe worn by champion athlete marathon runners — revolutionizes running by employing new proprietary technology. Yarns and fabric variations are precisely engineered only where they are needed for a featherweight, formfitting and virtually seamless upper.

Next up: the Nike Pro TurboSpeed. It’s described as the lightest, fastest track uniform Nike has ever built. Made with approximately 82% recycled polyester fabric, using an average of 13 plastic recycled bottles, the Pro TurboSpeed will be used by athletes for international team competition, unveiled in a global hue of techno-gray to designate Nike-sponsored athletes. Teams, of course, will maintain their official colors.

The new Nike Zoom Spikes for soccer (footie and futbol) players consists of the ultra-light Nike Zoom Superfly R4 and Nike Zoom Victory Elite.

Nike Hyper Elite Basketball Uniform. Designed to be worn by Team USA in the upcoming olympics, is Nike’s lightest jersey yet. The jersey is made up of 96% recycled polyester derived from recycled plastic bottles, while the shorts are 100% recycled polyester fabrics. Not to be confused with Superman’s logo.

The Nike Hyperdunk, part of the Nike Lunarlon Collection, uses a combination of advanced NIKE Flywire technology and a basketball-specific NIKE Lunarlon cushioning system.

The Lunarlon Collection and Nike Basketball products will be available at retail beginning June 29th while Nike Flyknit footwear will be available from July 27th.

The next and probably most impressive of all of the unveilings is the Nike+ Basketball and the Nike+ Training.

With LeBron’s good word, these are the real deal. The technology used in both, Nike+ Training and Nike+ Basketball utilizes a new Nike+ Pressure Sensor built into each shoe that collects information about the user’s movement and then wirelessly transmits data to their phone. It is then translated into different metrics delivering previously unknown information about either their workout or their game.

“I think Nike+ Basketball will change the game,” said James. “Giving every player access to this level of information will have a huge impact on the way players train and play the game.”

Nike+ Training is designed to turn working out into a game. During exercises and challenges, data and feedback on the workout is delivered to the user’s phone via the Nike+ Training mobile app. Daily programs can be created based on how hard the user wants to train, and the app provides a digital community to share each day’s workouts and challenges with. The first NIKE+ enabled Basketball shoe will be the Nike Hyperdunk+ which will be worn by LeBron James this summer. The first NIKE+ enabled Training shoes will be the Lunar Hyper Workout+ for Women and the Lunar TR 1+ for men.

“NIKE+ allows us to connect the physical world of sport with the social elements of digital to create a better sport experience for every athlete,” said Parker. “It’s about much more than a shoe. It represents a shift for NIKE from product, to product + experiences,” stated NIKE, Inc. president & CEO Mark Parker.

Impressive, Nike. What else do you have up your sleeve?