Nike opens the LeBron James Innovation Center
Nike has opened the doors of the LeBron James Innovation Center home to the new Nike Sport Research Lab (NSRL).
The 750,000-square-foot centre, which comes 40 years after it was first established in Exeter, New Hampshire, positions Nike for future decades of game-changing products and experiences for all athletes. Inside, the world’s largest motion-capture installation (400 cameras), 97 force plates, and body-mapping equipment is located, and much more.
“The NSRL is the epicenter of where we work with athletes of all abilities, all backgrounds, all skills and all sports,” said Matthew Nurse, PhD, VP of the Nike explore team sport research lab. “Athletes can move here at full speed, full motion — they can just play.”
“In the innovation space, we take information from the NSRL, and we are able to look at different ways to solve an athlete’s problem. It gets extremely interesting,” added Janett Nichol, VP of apparel innovation.
“In a conventional way of building a product, we would just go straight to a material, get a pattern, sew it, and then that would be it. Here, we can go to anything from biology or chemistry to pushing the limits of a machine to create a very different experience with material.”
Named after the four-time NBA champion and four-time NBA MVP, who signed with Nike in 2003, its facilities include a full-size basketball court, a 200-meter endurance track, a 100-meter straightaway, as well as an artificial-turf training pitch.
Alongside the equipment is a series of four advanced climate chambers that mimic a variety of conditions that support research and development that encompasses both mental and physical well-being.
Moreover, the LeBron James Innovation Center is designed to facilitate collaboration and expeditious prototyping, from biomechanics researchers and robotics experts to computational designers and patent pros.
“Over the course of my career and my time here at Nike, for all of this to come together is surreal,” said James. “Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to me, but I’m definitely honored. Having my name on the Innovation building feels very fitting because I’m always trying to figure out ways I can continue to innovate and continue to break the timeline of what they say is your prime.”
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