SBD/January 23, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Nike To Host 10 Companies In Accelerator Program Aimed At Developing Technology

Nike is accepting applications for the Accelerator program through February 3
Nike beginning in March will "host 10 companies for a three-month, mentor-driven" Nike+ Accelerator program, facilitated by Colorado-based company TechStars, according to Allan Brettman of the Portland OREGONIAN. Mentors for the program include Nike VP/Digital Sport Stefan Olander and Foursquare co-Founder Naveen Selvadurai. Nike "wants outsiders to come up with ideas about how to be active -- and do so using Nike digital products." The company is "accepting applications for the program" through Feb. 3 and winners "will be selected at the end of February." The program will "run through June." Nike will "provide development tools, office facilities, technical platforms and support for the winning companies." The program "ends with a 'technology investor demonstration day' at the World Headquarters" (OREGONLIVE.com, 1/22).

YEAR IN REVIEW: In Portland, Erik Siemers notes Nike's first year as the NFL's primary apparel supplier "is coming to a close." NFL Senior VP/Consumer Products Leo Kane, when asked about the biggest surprise Nike brought to the table, said, "Their social media and the Nike community, how powerful that is, that probably exceeded our expectations." Siemers asks Kane how much influence Nike has in uniform changes and if they are driven by Nike or the teams. Kane said, "We don't want to bring on a world class partner like Nike and then not ask them to come to us with any ideas." When asked what to expect for '13, Kane said, "I think Nike sees the potential in evolving the sidelines. I think you'll see us make really, really great product for the sidelines. You'll see a big step-up in the 2013 line" (PORTLAND BUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/18).

NEW LOOK: In DC, Sarah Kogod noted some Wizards players Monday night wore "special Nike sneakers, paying tribute to Martin Luther King." The shoes are part of the Black History Month collection and will be available "in stores and online starting" Saturday. Nike in a release said a "consistent design aesthetic weaves through each shoe, with a color palette including black and grey highlighted in orange." The color orange is "particularly meaningful with its bold hue and tie to Nike’s DNA since its 1972 inception" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 1/22). In Detroit, Joe Rexrode noted Michigan State will wear "special Nike uniforms" for Sunday's men's basketball game against Indiana. The uniforms are "similar to the Nike Pro Combat uniforms the MSU football team wore" in its '11 game against Michigan. Nike "chose the game for MSU to wear the uniforms" (FREEP.com, 1/22).
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