Okay, so today was bananas. I’ve been to dozens upon dozens of Nike media events since 2009 and this one ranks as one of the best ever. See, with Nike, they never, ever let a detail go by unnoticed. I don’t know how they do it. One time, they made me a pair of KD 6s on NIKEiD based off my Instagram profile picture. Who does that? Seriously? That said, being a Nike media event veteran, i’ve seen firsthand all the great lengths the brand goes through to educate us on what’s to come, and what went down today was undoubtedly the BEST EVER. The Nike Innovation For Everybody summit in New York City featured media from all around the world, and despite the huge guest-list, there was a true sense of individuality in that the brand communicated its goal of connecting with athletes* all around the world using the most advanced athletic products out there. I’d like to share some of what I saw today, so enjoy.
The day started with…Kevin Hart? The comedian, movie star, and Nike brand ambassador kicked off the festivities with a rather serious monologue on training and how social media has allowed him to experience some amazing workouts with the Nike+ community. He didn’t crack a single joke and it was all business (but don’t count on him taking on serious acting roles).
Nike CEO Mark Parker was up next, giving us a quick rundown of the innovations that were going to be debuted today. Behind the stage and the projection screen were walls covered in black tarp; they were immediately lifted once the presentation ended, revealing a massive space with several different sections focusing on one particular innovation. All of the production cues were timed with some really energetic borderline-clubbing music.
Our first stop – the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0. We learned about the shoe through Mark Parker’s presentation, but we were lucky enough to see the shoes and the self-lacing E.A.R.L. system in person. Nowhere close to being jumped over.
Nike Senior Innovator Tiffany Beers played a huge role in the development of the shoe. She typically works on small, everyday projects, such as: the self-lacing Nike Mag, Kanye West’s Air Yeezy, the Tom Sachs x Nike Mars Yard collaboration, the ParaNormans, and so on. You know, real basic stuff.
The HyperAdapt 1.0 with the lit-up midsole looks incredible.
The next stop – Nike Basketball Senior Design Director Leo Chang and the mammoth KD 9. The shoe is an absolute beauty and features some of the craziest Flyknit we’ve ever seen (and full-length Zoom Air unit to boot). They’re very fairly priced at $150 and this is absolutely huge for the KD brand. His stardom is undeniable and his fanbase is huge, but $180-200 was just too big a pill to swallow. At $150, these will fly off the shelves.
Yes, that’s multi-color Flyknit.
This photo is just to give you an idea of how large the space was. This area was just for the KD 9 and there at least 10 more sections to explore. It was like an amusement park for sneakerheads.
Yes, they brought on an actual football pitch to unveil the new anti-clog traction. Somehow, they’ve developed cleats that are resisting to dirt clumping onto the footbed of the shoe.
Installation featuring the Free RN Motion Flyknit with 360-degree infinity mirrors.
Nike’s head of digital community explains the revamped Nike+ App (set to debut in June).
Elena Delle Donne, defending WNBA MVP,in the new Vapor basketball uniforms and the Hyperdunk 2016.
Allyson Felix in the new Vapor running uniforms and the LunarEpic Flyknit.
One of the most breathtaking installations was for the LunarEpic Flyknit. A rainbow of floating shoes backed by a fricking forest. Most of the perimeter featured actual, living forest.
Neon sign with cool slogan.
About a hundred of this type of photo is on Instagram if you search the #Nike2016 hashtag. I should’ve taken a photo of people taking this same photo.
LunarEpic Flyknits in low-top form.
Weeks before the event, we were all sent a short Nike-centric survey regarding our favorite sports, favorite Nike products, favorite athletes, etc. and all of that culminated into Nike+ Live. Based on our answers, our Nike+ Live experience was uniquely tailored to our tastes. This is how well Nike knows me: they didn’t book me the workout.
After checking in with Nike+ Live concierge, I was led to my personal locker that had a bunch of gear waiting for me. I tried taking the iPad and failed miserably.
I, along with about a dozen other schmoes, was given the opportunity to design a pair of Air Max 1s on iD with the help of Tinker Hatfield.
This is what we worked with. On the left are five color chips. Only those five colors were available for use, and to activate the color, users has to take the chip and place it in the circular area (just below were it says John). Putting the “T” in that circle unlocked Tinker Hatfield’s design that was actually a possible original colorway of the Air Max 1.
Hiroshi Fujiwara was just randomly floating around, poking at all the stuff on the walls. How very Hiroshi of him.