Nike Heads To Paris With 'Nike On Air'

The Paris Olympics are a little over 100 days away, but Nike is already there, bringing 40 athletes to showcase new footwear, apparel and technology. The exhibition and live performance included unveiling the sculpted Air unit in the new Pegasus Premium, which Nike says is its most significant innovation since the VaporMax and Alphafly shoes.

The company staged the event at Paris’ Palais Brongniart. And it comes just a month after Nike, in a rare public admission, conceded it has lost its innovative edge and needs to be bolder in product design and marketing efforts.

The company is heralding the extravaganza as a prelude to an “innovation super cycle.” In addition to a close look at the Olympic uniform athletes will wear in the coming games, spectators also had plenty of opportunities to view how Nike incorporates artificial intelligence into its design process as it looks to regain the performance edge.



Visitors also got to gawk at augmented-reality statues of six of Nike’s biggest stars, glowing at least 26 feet tall in Nike orange: LeBron James, Alexia Putellas, Bebe Vio, Kylian Mbappe, Sha’Carri Richardson and Victor Wembanyama. Each statue also included an AR component that unlocked the athletes in action, revealing details about their Air-powered footwear.

“These groundbreaking Nike Air designs forecast the future of performance footwear, co-created to the exact specification of championship athletes,” says Heidi O’Neill, Nike’s president of consumer, product and brand, in the event announcement. “At the heart of all we do is the athlete. This summer, the difference-maker is the massive energy return of Nike Air — what you’ll see athletes wear on the road, court, pitch and track. A multiyear cycle of Nike innovation is upon us, and here in Paris, we’ve shown only the beginning of what’s to come.”

Athletes in attendance included gymnast Jordan Chiles and basketball coach Dawn Staley, a three-time Olympian, fresh off the University of South Carolina’s NCAA championship.

The Paris event isn’t the only sign Nike’s prospects are looking up, despite layoffs and its forecast for declining sales through the first half of its fiscal year.

The company’s stock is getting a bounce on reports that Bank of America has upgraded the company to a buy, indicating that Nike’s targets “finally look achievable,” as reported by Investor’s Business Daily.

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