Nike’s New Innovative Athlete-Led Collab: Fueling Creativity, Performance, and Success

Nike’s New Innovative Athlete-Led Collab: Fueling Creativity, Performance, and Success

Celebrating a summer of sport, Nike presented the “Nike On Air” experience in Paris. Forty elite athletes from around the world joined Nike to unveil the latest Nike Air footwear and Summer team kits, as well as present the future of athlete co-creation. What resulted was an array of iconic and visionary looks that highlighted their individual self-expression and incredible athleticism.

We spoke to the athletes about what creativity meant to them, and what it takes to be great.

First up, we spoke to Rai Benjamin who represents Team USA for Track & Field.

Does creativity have a place in the world of sport?

“Yeah of course it does! We see it all the time through innovation across products, in the way I express myself, how I tell my story etc. Also, of course; if you look good, you feel good and therefore, perform better.”

Ensuring their athletes look and feel good, the Nike team shared the process behind creating each kit which started with the voice of each athlete, obsessing over every detail. Nike’s goal was to offer options that met athletes’ desires for choice, comfort and performance. With nearly 50 unique pieces across men’s and women’s track and field and a dozen competition styles fine-tuned for specific events, athletes can choose outfits that match their style and personal preference without sacrificing comfort during the games in Paris.

In the same way, that Nike is obsessed with innovative design, Rai shared his take on innovation across training and what it takes to be great. “My coaches and I are constantly innovating our training techniques, intending to push myself out of my comfort zone. Greatness is just a result of that, and arises as a culmination of your mental and physical commitment to a desired outcome at any given time.”

Up next we spoke to B-Girl India as Breaking makes its debut as an Olympic Sport! We asked India if this formal recognition changed her approach to the art form. 

“I’ve always thought of Breaking as a sport, but at the same time, it’s definitely still an art form. I love how intense it is physically on the body but also how it forces you to be incredibly creative. As well as an athlete I would describe myself as a creative, with breaking you have to be creative. You have to be unique which is one of the main goals of breaking – to be unique and to find your own style.

Last but not least, we sat down with Romane Dicko, a Double Olympic Medalist Judoka from France!

Romane shared how Judo made her feel so strong “I think that’s why I loved it, it was a fighting sport and I felt incredibly powerful. I always wanted to be the best when I was younger and so I did whatever it took to get there”. But what does it mean to be the best? We asked. “To me, being the best means doing everything you can to push your limits and putting in all your efforts.

Whilst being an athlete, Romane also describes herself as a creative and speaks about the importance of innovating as an athlete within the world of Judo, developing her own style as she continues to master her form. Aside from this, we also got the exclusive scoop that Romane sews in her spare time as a hobby and maintains her creative outlets for her own wellbeing and happiness. 

With expanding digital capabilities and the expertise, creativity and passion of Nike teams, the company is giving all athletes more support, more choice and more inspiration than ever to make their diverse dreams real.

As it always has, Nike Air flows in one direction — toward the new frontier of innovation.


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