Sports Insight

July / August 2019

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C oming out of a fiscal year where global brand revenues topped $37.2 billion, and North American annual sales rose 7 percent to more than $15.9 billion, Nike senior management is clear about the company's increasing focus on digital, connecting with its consumers worldwide, keeping better track of its inventory via technology and raising the innovation bar in footwear and apparel. Digital commerce, both owned and partnered with retailers, is forecast to be at least 30 percent of Nike's business by 2023. "e intersection of physical and digital is going to continue to be a more and more intimate relation- ship," proclaimed Mark Parker, Nike's Chairman, President and CEO. "I think we're looking at a lot of experimentation, trial and error learning from some of the test we're doing. Ultimately, it's about making the experience physically or digitally richer, more dimensional experience for consumers." Among key product developments to watch: • Nike Joyride, a new cushioning platform designed to appeal to both performance- and lifestyle-focused consumers, launches in August. Nike Joyride joins Nike Air and Nike React as the latest proprietary innovation among the brand's cushioning platforms. Joyride is a proprietary cushioning system made of thousands of TPE beads. e beads are placed within zonally-tuned pods, which allows the foam to expand in all directions. e brand refers to the Joyride sen- sation as "like running on bubbles." • Nike Fit, a foot scanning technology via a smart- phone camera or in-store device that should minimize returns over sizing issues, will debut in the U.S. and the EMEA later this year. • A refresh of footwear products under $100 retail, what Nike refers to as its "core zone," is coming. Approximately 75 percent of styles in the group will get a new look, including the utilization of existing Nike tech into some. • Converse, whose FY19 sales rose 1 percent to slightly more than $1.9 billion, is diversifying it product as- sortment, including a renewed focus on its authentic basketball business. n B Y B O B M C G E E Consumer connections, product innovation and a digital focus are top Nike initiatives. Nike's Plans in Focus Nike Joyride Run Flyknit July/August 2019 Sports Insight • 11 IN THE MARKET / FOOTWEAR

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