Join us behind the scenes for our EXCLUSIVE trip to Paris as Nike launches the Future of Athletes on Air

Join us behind the scenes for our EXCLUSIVE trip to Paris as Nike launches the Future of Athletes on Air

Last week Nike invited the GUAP team down to Paris to witness them launch the Future of Athletes on Air – an immersive and sensorial experience, which unveiled the footwear and apparel that the brand’s athletes will wear this summer — and chile did we have a time!

Let me not lie guys, this was my first ever press trip and I know everyone says ‘act like you been here before’ but I HAVEN’T and I was so excited! Therefore, I’ve decided to share all the gorgeous details of my experience that now have me referring to press trips as brand baecations! Strap in kid-Zs, I plan to make this fast and furious.

Days before we were whisked away to the city of lurvvvv, I received not just one, but TWO product-filled Nike bags that featured two super cute outfits – one with lifestyle products and one filled with running gear. Now I have to admit, when I saw the running items I was instantly filled with dread because if there’s one machine I’m gonna avoid at the gym, it’s definitely the treadmill. At this point I started to wonder whether this was going to be a press trip or the Hunger Games? (Read on to find out)

Just joking, some people like running, (as showcased by the recent rise in running clubs) and in the lead-up to the Olympics, this event was all about showcasing Nike’s new research, advanced capabilities, and bold approach to innovation that aims to help athletes go the extra mile (which you can read all about here)

Planned with the perfect ratio of werk to enjoyment, we arrived in Paris a day before the festivities began giving us ample time to settle in to the gorgeous Madame Rêve hotel. Ah yes, just a few days ago I was eating Nike-branded macaroons on a widespread bed overlooking a gorgeous view of Paris.

After spending a few hours pretending I was in Ari Lennox’s music video for ‘New Apartment’, I and all the other press peeps went out for a a Michelin-Star Parisian dinner featuring a 5-course meal and accompanying tasting wines. Wined? and Dined? Yes, yes I was. The food critic in me jumped out during that meal. I was swirling my wine around in circles whilst beaming with a radiating sense of joy and excitement. “Could I…. Be…. a Bad B?” were the thoughts playing and replaying in my mind, getting stronger with every sip.

Good timing that, as playtime was officially over! The next day kicked off with a 7 am start as we headed over to the Palais Brongniart where we were greeted by six colossal AR-enabled statues of Nike athletes including LeBron James, Alexia Putellas, Bebe Vio, Kylian Mbappe, Sha’Carri Richardson and Victor Wembanyama. Each statue was between 8 and 11 meters high and had an augmented-reality interface that unlocked the athletes in action and their Air-powered footwear. Fun!

At the entrance to the exhibition we were greeted by John Hoke, Nike’s Chief Innovation Officer who gave us an incredibly engaging introduction to the exhibition which you can read all about here!

In short, the Nike on Air Exhibition took us on a journey across the brand’s genealogy, culture, and reinvention — and highlighted their product innovations across running, basketball, global football, skate, breakdancing, and lifestyle. Learning more about the science, data and design approach to the Nike Air footwear was genuinely so interesting and it was such an honour meeting some of the Chief Design officers working across the summer launch.

Shortly after, each of the various press houses were granted one-on-one interview time with the Nike team and athletes, all of whom were integral to The Nike On Air experience and reveal of A.I.R. — Athlete-Imagined Revolution 13 athletes’ conceptions for the future of Air, represented by mind-bending, AI-explored, 3D-printed footwear that Nike’s innovation teams helped bring to life.

Being the creative focused magazine that we are, I asked some of the athletes about the role creativity plays in their lives, which you can read about here.

By this point it was around 2pm and all that talking worked up a dangerous appetite in us which was gratefully quenched by the most incredible Focaccia and Buratta which was absolutely *chefs kiss*.

Before I could even take a nap, day became…well a few hours later on that day, and we were all dressed up ready to finally witness the long awaited evening show. At this point we were on high crep check alert as all the cool kids across the NikeUinverse gathered to mark the final countdown to the biggest stage in sport. We saw the likes of Ronaldinho, Travis Scott, Serena Williams and more!

A truly fantastic and futuristic display of innovative designs, we were all cheering by the end as we watched Nike’s Olympian athletes stand gloriously across the stage.

Soon after the show ended we headed over to Converse’s ‘In Motion’ Celebration which brought the brand’s artistic expression to life while board riders had the opportunity to take on one of the most unique indoor skateparks ever imagined. After a night of fun, food and drinks, we all headed home for another small, humble, quick late night snack, which consisted of oysters, roasted duck, soups and more! (Ok no, but seriously. Oysters and duck at 1am ??? on a Thursday night??? London could never)

Night soon turned to mourning as I awoke to the fateful day I was expected to run for my life alongside a group of well-seasoned athletes. I woke up early enough to pysche myself into lying about a previous injury, OR practice my convincingly fast speed walk, only to find out that my destiny had changed! Instead of running a mini-marathon across Paris, I was instead invited to take part in a Creative Customisation workshop with Collectivo Paris, upcycling a fresh new pair of Nike DNs.

Walking around the workshop room and seeing all the different incredibly creative customised trainers I was SO EXCITED to take part. However, I slowly realised that would mean gluing, sticking or poking my fresh DN’s, which…..shall I say, re-routed the course and extent of my creative explorations. Nevertheless, I got all the way stuck in and by the end created something I was incredibly proud of. Was my sense of pride dampened seeing the greater success of everyone else’s designs? Do I have pictures of my work to share? Are they included in the gallery below? Did I consider running away with the girlies shoes that had flowers sewn on to them? Ha, that would be telling!

By this time it was approximately 12pm which signalled the final countdown before we were all expected to board the eurostar back to London. Some of the other influencer guests decided to extend their trips as the Nike team had graciously booked all our rooms for an extra night, and well? I was influenced. I also decided to extend my trip for an extra night giving myself a mini-holiday, and it’s at this point that our Nike Press Trip came to an end.

If you’ve got this far, I hope you enjoyed my review! I feel incredibly fortunate to have experienced three jam packed days of being completely engaged, looked after and inspired by a brand that clearly has an insatiable passion for creative excellence and impactful design thinking. From speaking to the design teams, learning more about the mindest of an athlete, meeting the wider Nike network and spending the morning creating with local Parisian designers – I had an absolutely fantastic time!

If you’re an emerging platform, influencer or content creator – keep posting, creating content and geeking out about your all your favourite hobbies, brands, interests, activities etc because a time will come when the right opportunitites will arise and you’ll be the perfect person to document or engage with whatever’s taking place.

To find out more about the Nike On Air experience, head here