Nike has unveiled the LeBron James Innovation Center, which will serve as the new epicenter of the brand’s efforts in sports research.
Named after the Los Angeles Lakers superstar, the 85,000-square-foot facility will house the Nike Sport Research Lab where they gather data from athletes for future products. The massive building located in the center of Nike’s campus contains 400 motion-picture cameras, 97 force plates, 825 pieces of testing equipment and four environmental chambers.
James spoke on what it meant to have such a place named in his honor.
>“Over the course of my career and my time here at Nike, for all of this to come together is surreal. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to me, but I’m definitely honored. Having my name on the Innovation building feels very fitting because I’m always trying to figure out ways I can continue to innovate and continue to break the timeline of what they say is your prime.”
The equipment will be used to track and analyze athletes from all sports since the building also contains a full-size NBA basketball court, a 100-meter track with two lanes of track and field surface and a one-third-size regulation soccer field with artificial turf, via Joe Pompliano of readhuddleup.com:
2003: 18-year-old @KingJames signs a $90M deal with Nike, still the largest rookie deal ever.
2021: Nike opens a 750,000-square-foot "LeBron James Innovation Center" at their global headquarters, including an NBA-size court, a soccer field, a track, and more.
Legendary ???? pic.twitter.com/kGGkTAAAry
— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) October 4, 2021
“Our goal every single day is to make athletes better and to make the world better for athletes,” says Kathy Gomez, VP of Footwear Innovation. “Understanding more types of bodies, more genders, more backgrounds and different ability levels helps us create better and more specific product.”
The center itself uses 100% renewable electricity and is built to quickly convert the research into prototypical designs for products that can be created in less than an hour.
>“In the innovation space, we take information from the NSRL, and we are able to look at different ways to solve an athlete’s problem. It gets extremely interesting,” says Janett Nichol, VP of Apparel Innovation. “In a conventional way of building a product, we would just go straight to a material, get a pattern, sew it, and then that would be it. Here, we can go to anything from biology or chemistry to pushing the limits of a machine to create a very different experience with material.”
James signed a seven-year, $90 million endorsement deal with Nike back in 2003 that has since evolved into a lifetime contract that is believed to be worth an estimated $1 billion. He now joins Michael Jordan and Serena Williams as the pillar athletes with their own buildings at Nike headquarters.
James voted in a lot of categories in NBA GM survey
Even going into the 19th season of his career, James remains of the best players in the NBA and that was represented by him being voted into a ton of categories in the NBA’s annual GM survey.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!