Innovation drives growth
Innovation has been the cornerstone of Nike’s (NKE) sustained growth (IWF) across the globe. It’s why the company has been able to sell more at higher prices, particularly in footwear. As of July 2015, the company had filed over 500 patents in its Flyknit technology alone. Nike filed around 540 product patents in 2013.
At its 2016 Innovation event held on March 16, 2016, in New York City, Nike unveiled several products. According to Nike’s president and CEO Mark Parker, “We’ve entered a new era of personalized performance. Athletes want more than a dashboard and data – they want a more personal relationship, one that gives them real solutions and total access to the best product and services.”
New product launches
As part of the launch, Nike unveiled the HyperAdapt 1.0 product, its first foray into the world of adaptive lacing. The product offers sport-informed adaptive lacing, which adjusts the footwear according to the requirements of the game.
In another important innovation, the company also announced the Nike Anti-Clog Traction product. This innovation is designed to prevent mud from clinging to football cleats via the use of an adaptive polymer. The anti-clog traction can help enhance running speed for athletes.
Primarily an apparel player, rival Under Armour (UA) unveiled a slew of connected fitness products at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this January. Adidas (ADDYY) is also trying to launch innovative new products and platforms via its Create the New initiative. The company acquired Runtastic for 220 million euros in August 2015. At the time of the acquisition, Runtastic had over 20 apps covering various health and fitness activities.
Nike also announced important enhancements to its NIKE+ app, which we’ll discuss in the next part of this series, together with the company’s strong performance in e-commerce (FXD).