Nike VP discusses digital, technological products
The hashtag #NewhouseGLDSM trended nationwide Wednesday night during a presentation by Stefan Olander.
Olander, a vice president of digital sport at Nike, gave a presentation via videoconference titled “Game On: Bridging the Digital and Physical World” to a crowd of more than 300 students on Wednesday night in the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium.
The presentation was part of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications lecture series titled “Newhouse Global Leaders in Digital Social Media.”
Olander began by outlining the history of Nike and discussing the company’s goal of connecting products to athletes.
Nike’s mission is to give inspiration, innovation and hope to every athlete around the world. Nike believes, Olander said, that if you have a body, you’re an athlete.
“We have always been about serving the athlete,” he said.
Nike strives to create products that help athletes perform at their best, such as Nike+, Nike Fuel Band and a new product set to be released soon that was created in cooperation with Microsoft. The product will use Kinect camera technology, Olander said.
The product has the user do seven exercises of functional movements to assess fitness and then generates a four-week program tailored to the user’s individual needs, Olander said.
Many of Nike’s digital or technological products are tailored around the goals of the consumer. People want to see their progress and, at Nike, this is taken into consideration when products are created, Olander said.
I think he gave good insight in to the way a huge company like Nike works. He broke it down really well to how they reach a consumer.
Brett Samuels, undecided freshman in Newhouse
Brett Samuels, a freshman undeclared major in Newhouse, said he was very impressed with Olander’s presentation.
“I think he gave good insight into the way a huge company like Nike works,” Samuels said. “He broke it down really well to how they reach a consumer.”
When Nike first started, the company was selling shoes out of the back of a van, yet the commitment to the customer was still the same.
On the topic of social media specifically, Olander discussed how Nike not only wants to connect people with its brand, but with each other.
This idea helped Jose Moreno, a junior broadcast and digital journalism major, understand Nike’s use of social media.
“Nike obviously continues using social media for innovation to improve their products,” Moreno said.
William Ward, a social media professor in Newhouse who coordinated the event, said he thought Olander was an ideal speaker to discuss social media with students.
“The Newhouse Global Leaders in Digital and Social Media speakers series is really about finding those people around the world that are innovating in that digital and social media space,” Ward said. “Nike was really one of the first.”
Nike came before several other companies that are referred to as social media giants today, like Facebook and Twitter, Ward said.
“I like that he emphasized the human element of Nike,” said Ward. “I hope the biggest take away is he humanized what seemed like digital tools and platforms and APIs and mobile apps to pretty much how they help people’s lives.”
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