We are on Offense. Always. This Nike maxim is as good as any to glean an understanding of the heart and soul of the company’s culture.

Wind the clock back to 2010 in Western Europe and view Sportswear Footwear. Consumers are faced with tired product offerings and wholesale partners increasingly engaged in promotional price battles.

As Category Footwear Leader of Nike Sportswear my role was to visualize, conceptualize, line plan and then execute a product attack plan to drive energy into a market which one senior executive labeled “tired as dead leaves”. Operation Deadleaf attempted to re-assert what Nike Sportswear actually was.

Nike Sportswear is at its best when Nike innovation is consumer appropriated as new expressions of style. Think of Nike’s greatest sneakers – each ratifies this statement, from Cortez to Rosche. Air Force 1 to Foamposite.

OPERATION DEADLEAF: Take Nike’s most respected and Iconic products and drive new expressions of style through our latest upper innovations. A bold stroke in a platform driven company culture.

HYPERFUSE + VAC TECH: Two upper innovations; one from Performance and one from Nike Sportswear. 

THE RESULT: An incremental $180M. But perhaps more importantly, Operation Deadleaf gave the company confidence that there was a consumer appetite for dimensionalizing Nike Sportswear products beyond traditional platforms, colors, graphics and materials.