Nike shoes talk to Apple's iPod in new system
Updated: 2006-05-25 14:08
Nike is to make running shoes that will be able to send data about the
wearer's performance to an Apple iPod using a new wireless system called
Using a Nike+iPod Sports Kit, expected to retail for about
US$29, ($47.22) consumers will be able to access time, distance, pace and
calories burned through the earphones of a nano version of the iPod via a sensor
in the insole of special shoes that communicate with the digital music
Nike also launched a line of performance clothing, including
jackets and shorts, that holds iPods and keeps wires untangled and out of
"We share the same types of consumers," said Trevor Edwards,
Nike's vice president of global brand management, who said more than half of
nano users already use the device while running.
"We know that these two
brands work really well together."
A 2002 deal between Nike and the
Netherlands' Philips Electronics NV that resulted in an mp3 player that tracked
time and distance fizzled, Edwards said, because of differences in the two
companies' target consumers.
Analyst John Shanley of Susquehanna
Financial Group said the Nike+iPod launch was innovative but would not appeal to
the company's core base of teenage boys.
"Is it going to move the needle
in terms of them selling more footwear?" he asked. "Probably not." But investors
and sporting goods retailers were encouraged by Nike adding to its performance
apparel business, since sales of that line have been outpaced by growing brand
Under Armour Inc..
The Nike+ Air Zoom Moire line of running shoes -
priced at US$100 - are the first to work with the system, but others will
follow, Nike's Edwards said.
The shoes and kit will be available in
stores in the US within two months. Nike will sell the kits in its Niketown
stores and Apple will also include a Nike Sport Music section on its iTunes
music store, the companies said.
The Nike+iPod system will let runners
call up a favorite song instantly, and athletes can listen mid-workout to a
voice through their headphones detailing their progress.
transfer collected data onto a Nike website, nikeplus.com.
partnership was announced in New York during an event attended by Apple chief
executive Steve Jobs, Nike CEO Mark Parker, Tour de France champion Lance
Armstrong and marathon record-holder Paula Radcliffe.
Shares of Nike rose
over 2 per cent in the US as it capitalized on the popularity of the iPod line,
which dominates portable digital music players. But one analyst said a
relatively narrow section of Nike consumers would be interested in the running