In this quick report on Yahoo, Kasper Rorsted (adidas CEO) states that the shoe is not a “save the world” product. The problem is Nike isn’t attempting to save the world with this product. Nike is flexing its tech muscle. As the intersection of sports and digital begins to cross the lines more, the company that has the ability to engage the consumer on both an athletic level, technical level, and socially aware level will build a following with that group of buyers.
Nike is basically playing Steve Jobs here. It’s an announcement/release of a shoe with the HyperAdapt that shows while other companies have gained shares of the market Nike has the funds in pocket to generate and take risks on products that are simply for the entertainment and engagement of consumers capable of paying for tech in every aspect of their lives. This is a generation that is tied to a phone so completely that a 700 dollar phone is no longer a luxury purchase. With this release Nike has basically shown how well their direct to consumer model works with a model that is priced beyond what they are currently creating.
Kudos to adidas for making the Parlay adidas and the biodegradable footwear, but throwing shots at a company that has created wearable “tech” for disabled athletes/people is a sign that adidas is watching the brand too closely. It’s okay to watch, but don’t let a company know you’re watching. It’s like that swimmer in Rio who was looking to the side instead of paying attention to his lane. He lost.