Nike is propelling athletic gear design into the future with a custom GenAI model, leveraging deep athlete data for enhanced personalization.

Nike is using GenAI to transform athletic product design, using exclusive athlete data to create personalized sports gear. By incorporating athlete preferences into the GenAI system, Nike generates hundreds of design iterations, refining them with digital fabrication tools like 3D sketching and printing. This process speeds up the design phase and deeply integrates personal insights into product development, closely aligning with each athlete’s unique needs and aspirations.

John Hoke, Nike’s chief innovation officer, describes the integration of GenAI, athlete data, and emerging technologies as a transformative approach to product creation, dubbing it “a new alchemy of making.” This method significantly boosts the creative process, enabling designers to experiment and iterate rapidly. Furthermore, Nike’s commitment to ethical use ensures that these innovations adhere to competitive regulations, preventing unfair advantages in professional sports.

Despite potential regulatory challenges for competition use, Nike remains committed to exploring GenAI’s potential for creating competitive and psychologically empowering athletic wear. This commitment is clear in their recent AIR project, which involved creating prototype shoes for top athletes based on their input, showcased ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games.

The role of GenAI in Nike’s design process accelerates prototyping and infuses a dynamic burst of creativity, enabling designers to visualize and modify designs in real time.