January 13, 2011 BY Aaron Kr.
SN: So the different stages are meant to meet LeBron’s physical needs as the season progresses?
JP: We just wanted the shoe to evolve with LeBron, and there’s a bunch of different ways we could’ve done it. We talked about designing a totally different shoe for each one of those stages, but as the conversation went on, we liked the notion of seeing the shoe transform or morph in front of you. Originally, we were even thinking about doing more than three shoes so you could really see the change from this kind of early season Aston Martin luxury car to something at the end of the season where it’s the total race car version of the same car at LeMans. Totally carbon-fibered, bigger, engine with more horsepower, race wheels. All that kinda good stuff, but still with the essence of that original car. So that’s one side of the genesis and that just really sprung from LeBron’s comment about there being different seasons and how he prepares. And we just wanted to see if we could break down the experience and let the shoe and the consumer change over the course of the season just like LeBron.
SN: Is the concept of different stages of the shoe something that we’ll see more of moving forward with the LeBron 9?
JP: I don’t know. I can’t say. I think with the “82-28” concept, providing him with a shoe for the playoffs is something that we’ve adopted and that’s something that LeBron wants and something that we’ll continue to do for as long as he feels that it’s working for him. So the story for this season was really going deep into that evolution, but I think what we also wanted to do was show LeBron as the style icon as well as the performance icon. You’re seeing the transformation of how we talk about LeBron and Nike from “style and performance” to “style through performance.” You know, like the LeBron 7 has a lot of classic elements wrapping the performance elements, and then with the PS, we took it more technical. And then we started the 8 technical, but then shrouded it in leather and a kinda dressed-up mentality. And now (with the V2) its shedding that and going supremely technical and you can clearly visually see that literal transformation in the technical differences between the V1 and V2 already.
And we’re gonna keeping pushing LeBron towards that technical edge. He’s gonna be our leader as we go off into this new era and he’ll be showcasing Nike’s pinnacle technologies, and that transformation is already happening now with the 8. But as we go forward, we’ll see what happens. The idea of the shoe transforming might not be necessary as our new solutions for building the shoes may provide the ultimate benefit for every moment of that season. This time, we got really specific with how we built the 8, dividing the shoe up into three different segments, but we don’t have to do that every time. There may be other solutions to get the same benefits all into one shoe, or two shoes, or five shoes. We’re always looking for how to eek out that extra bit of advantage for LeBron and the performance of his shoes. So if we feel like it helps, we’ll give it a shot.