Saturday, March 22, 2008

Nike Cracks World's Most Innovative Company List Top 10

The March 2008 issue of Fast Company magazine ranked Nike the #6 most innovative company in the world.

The magazine's Mark Borden writes, "You expect fancy footwear from Nike. But its latest masterstroke is social networking, online and off. From events to the Web to unique retail hubs, Nike is blurring the line between brand and experience."

He's not kidding. I consider myself on top of most sports-related and pop culture happenings.

Most Nike innovations profiled by Fast Company, I'd been in the dark on. (Granted, I'm not as hip as I once was).

For instance, "House of Hoops."

Nike and Foot Locker launch New York’s new temple of basketball.

All eyes were on 125th Street in Harlem today as Nike and Foot Locker teamed up to celebrate New York’s long legacy of basketball greatness with the opening of the new House of Hoops concept store. Dedicated to everything basketball, the store features Nike, Jordan, Converse products all under One roof, player exclusive shoes, apparel and sporting goods endorsed by the greatest athletes to ever player the game.
According to the magazine, Nike plans on launching 50 stores nationwide.

Among the other inititaitves highlighted were:

Run Americas
Nike Women's Marathon
Nike+ Supersonic
NikeiD Studios
Nike ProPlayers Top
Nike Total 90 Laser

Sumo2 5900
Nike Amp+ Watch

And lastly, Nike Native N7, which just about blew my mind. Talk about forward thinking and identifying niche markets...
When Nike learned many Native Americans were wearing shoes that were two sizes too big to accomodate their generally wider feet, they set about cornering an unserved niche market.

While other apparel-based businesses cracked the top 50, none were as sport-centric or iconic as Nike. Which, despite constant efforts by others to overtake, remarkably remains top in its field.

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