This past week I was invited to travel to Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon to take part in the Nike Soccer Innovation Summit where I would preview the latest and greatest in innovation for the world’s number one sport. Sadly, due to a scheduling conflict I could not attend. So I sent my good friend and great designer Brandon Losutter in my absence. I chose Brandon not only because he is a phenomenal designer and knew the types of questions I would be interested in hearing the answers to but also because he is an avid soccer player. I must say, after seeing the photos from the event he did a much better job on the field then I would have.
Stay tuned over the next week as Brandon and I breakdown the Innovation Summit and discuss the Form, Function and Philosophy behind the new Nike CTR 360 Maestri III.
Check out Brandon’s summary below:
This week Nike Soccer launched their new product innovations just in time for the Olympic games, as well as the upcoming start of the European Soccer leagues. I was fortunate enough to take part in an intimate and in depth soccer immersion experience held on Nike World Headquarters campus. Where we were treated to a great insight as to how Nike soccer innovates every detail of the game. This included the unveiling of the new Nike CTR 360 Maestri III, one of Nikes top performing soccer cleats.
Also taking place on campus were the U.S. finals of “The Chance”. “The Chance” is a global effort to find the next great talents in soccer. Pitting the best youth players against each other for a chance to compete against other footballers selected from 55 countries around the globe to earn a place in the elite 16-man squad to train with the best professional international teams and play against the most prestigious youth academies. We were treated to some great matches throughout the two days, with scouts from the U.S. National Soccer Team joining us to watch.
The event started with an overview of past innovations from Nike soccer. A little known fact that is that the first Nike shoes to ever don the iconic swoosh was their first soccer boot, the “Nike”. The “Nike” was just the start, from there; the innovations that Nike has brought to the beautiful game have been invaluable. Everything from revolutionary upper materials and stud placements to sustainable uniform kit materials, Nike has always been on the forefront of global soccer innovation.
Next, we were treated to an amazing presentation on visual science from Dr. Alan Reichow, who is the Nike Global Research Director of Vision Sciences. Nike has always dedicated itself to enhancing the athlete’s body, it’s Dr. Reichow’s job to enhance the athletes’ senses and intuition. He works very closely with the most elite clubs and athletes around the world to do just that. Some of the most interesting and innovative ideas came from this presentation, which we will dive into separately in its own post.
After Dr. Reichow was through blowing us away, we were given the great opportunity to talk about the newest boots with Andrew Caine, who is the VP of Global Footwear Design. He walked us through the new CTR 360 Maestri III, as well as Nike’s newest effort at sustainable footwear, the Nike Green Speed. I also had a chance to have a few minutes with Andrew to talk about the process of innovating side by side with the best players in the world. It is always thrilling to get a chance to hear what it is like to gain an inside edge from elite athletes throughout the entire design process.
From there, we got ready for what was an intense on pitch wear test session. When we arrived at the field, the same field where “The Chance” players were already playing, we were met with the new Nike CTR 360s as well as the training staff and coaches from “The Chance”. They put us right to work doing an assortment of passing, dribbling, and shooting drills. We ended with a friendly round robin tourney of 7 vs. 7, where I was pleasantly surprised of the talent and competitive spirit of my fellow media!
To end the event, Nike was gracious enough to take us to the Portland Timbers soccer match, who is Portland’s Minor League Soccer club; they were up against Aston Villa. Aston Villa is a member of arguably the most elite league in the world, The English Premier League. Here we were able to witness not only some of the best talent in soccer, but also take in the innovation Nike Soccer has recently produced in action. The Matched ended in a 2-2 draw, and was ultimately decided on penalty kicks where Aston Villa prevailed on the last shot. Soccer matches rarely get anymore exciting than that!
I have to say a huge thank you to Nike for extending the invite to us. The event was unbelievable and the product innovation was incredibly inspiring. Stay tuned to Brettgolliff.com over the coming week as Brett and I break down the design Form, Function and Philosophy of the new CTR 360 Maestri III.
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