New York City played host to the 2016 Nike Innovation Summit this week as the Swoosh pulled out all the stops in a exhibition of futuristic football. Led by CEO Mark Parker addressing the world's media, Nike called upon a number of their key athletes to parade their next generation product, headlined by the all new Mercurial Superfly.
Leading the charge in amongst special guests including Kevin Hart and Kevin Durant was the undisputed king of footballing speed – the Mercurial Superfly. Built with Anti-Clog technology the all new Mercurial will take centre stage at EURO 2016 and the Copa America this summer as the Superfly legacy accelerates through another gear of cutting edge technology. With the summer tournaments the next big stage for Nike, the brand also threw their most advanced football kits to date into the mix by launching Vapor kits with Aeroswift technology.
Launching their entire 2016 National Football Federation strips in their lightest ever form, Nike showcased new home and away designs for England, Portugal, Chile, Brasil, USA, Poland, Turkey, Croatia and host nation of the European Championships, France. Not just replica eye-candy in the sharpest form, the Vapor kits are built with the athlete at the forefront, as each kit wicks sweat away from the skin 20% faster than Nike’s most recent football kits, while also drying 25% faster. In a weight obsessed market the shirts have also shaved off 10% of weight with 50% more stretch than the kits they replace.
Other treats on show were the NikeGrip socks, created to prevent the foot from slipping in the boot and keeping it comfortable though strong fitting to the foot – an area in the market where Nike were inevitably going to explore. A mecca of sporting design, New York City was graced by some of the most influential sporting designers, including VP of Footwear Football Max Blau and VP of Nike Football Design, Martin Lotti, both of whom we caught up with to hear the impeccable processes their latest revelations went through.
As Nike fix their eyes on a huge summer of football, their projects have been in the making since they left Brazil in 2014. Armed with a next-generation arsenal of weapons, Nike are sure to enter the international scene with all guns blazing come June. Game on.
Stay tuned for more from the 2016 Nike Innovation Summit in New York.
Photography: Nathan Congleton