Think of Nike as having the soul of Apple (no pun intended). If you want to join a forward thinking company that’s really pushing the envelope in sports tech, Nike is a good place to start. Their approach to product development and marketing is one you might see in a “B” school classroom someday. Here’s a primer on their forward thinking that uses a bit of retro tech to improve one of the world’s most basic products—the shoe:
It begins with a pair of Nike trainers with embedded sensors to measure pressure created when a pair of beta test shoes strike the ground. The pressure data is fed wirelessly to an iPhone, which is plugged into a MacBook whose screen features a program that imitates a 1987 Nintendo video game called Track & Field II. Nike’s testing resulted in two new products that hurtled to success in the sports accessory market.
The first was an electronic bracelet called the FuelBand, which measures body movements throughout the day, allowing users to track any activity with color cues—red for couch potatoes, green for performers. FuelBand measures your steps, calories burned, and tallies up your NikeFuel points—data you can post and share online. That’s because one end of the FuelBand is actually a USB connector, so you can connect it to a computer and sync your data. It also has a Bluetooth connection that lets you send data to your iOS device using an application found in the App Store. The FuelBand is clearly an innovation that moved Nike into the digital arena.
Nike also broke new ground with its Flyknit Racer, ultra-light shoes created from knit threading instead of multi-fabric layers. Some have called this the best fitting road-racing shoe ever. The single knit panel upper provides a seamless and sock-like fit that adapts to your foot’s shape as you run. The midsole’s Zoom Air unit offers lightweight protection during high stress pounding. The new shoe called for a revamping of Nike’s manufacturing process, one with a more environmentally friendly footprint and lower long-term production costs.
Nike has about 44,000 employees and like a shark in today’s highly competitive sports accessories/apparel market, it either moves forward or dies. If you’re a tech grad and want to work for a company that unites sports with tech, Nike is a good place to start.
If you’re a recent grad pounding the streets for work, check out Nike’s US Internship Program. It runs for 12 weeks at their World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. The paid internship includes all employee perks, as well as access to Nike’s world-class athletic facilities, plus employee discounts at employee stores, and various other benefits. Got questions? Get answers at Nike’s Internship FAQs.
Want a job that mixes sports with high tech? Check out Nike.
Image courtesy of stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net