Nike is obsessed with innovation.
On the company’s quarterly earnings call Tuesday afternoon, Nike executives mentioned the word no less than 30 times.
Last week, the company announced its first self-lacing sneaker.
And on Tuesday, the three Nike execs on its earnings call — CEO Mark Parker, President of Nike brand Trevor Edwards, and CFO Andy Campion — brought up the company’s emphasis on this idea at almost every turn.
For an example, here’s Parker’s discussion about new products the company is launching, during which he mentioned “innovation” eight times (emphasis ours):
Well, first of all what you saw last week what we introduced last week in New York was, some of what is coming over the next year. So our — with this in the Olympic years, we always have more innovation coming out of the pipeline than normally. I mean it’s pretty much the cycle that we’ve been on. It’s a focus that we’ve had in delivering innovation really since the past two or three decades. But I think what you saw last week was more at one time than we’ve ever introduced. We’ve actually edited that. There’s more innovation than what we showed in New York, both in product and on the digital front. That said, we’re incredibly proud of the spectrum, the scope of innovation that we had in footwear, in apparel, competitively in sportswear really much across the spectrum, the complete offence that I had talked about. And then in digital, obviously that continues to be incredibly important for us. I think you’ll see a stream of innovation coming from Nike in that area. It continues to a high priority for the Company and obviously important to the consumer and the athletes that we’re hear to serve. So that will be the norm I think that to see that kind of steady stream of innovation. And this is what fuels our growth in the end is, the scope and the power of the innovation we have; not just in terms of any one product but the influence that those products have on all the categories and in some cases the brands within the portfolio. So we’re in a great position to leverage that innovation across a wider portfolio.
A lot of this has to do with Nike’s sponsorship of the US Olympic team during this year’s Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Olympics are one of the most watched sporting events in the world and Parker made clear its strategy focuses on this being a showcase for the brand.
Nike CFO Andy Campion also outlined that when the company invests, it will be in investing in innovation.
“And as we prioritise our investments, innovation will always be at the top of Nike’s list,” Campion said. “Last week’s innovation summit we showcased what we mean when we say Nike will bring a relentless flow of innovation to serve the athlete and consumer.”
Tech companies such as Fitbit have been focusing more heavily on workout-related products.
And based on the mantra-like repetition of the phrase it’s clear that Nike execs are taking the challenges seriously.