Nike CEO: We’re Committed to Digital, but Focused on Software
Update: This story has been updated to correct the name of Nike’s CEO and clarify that the company’s new digital focus area is software.
During an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” on Friday, Nike Chief Executive Mark Parker finally commented on the recent news that the sports apparel giant is restructuring its wearables efforts.
He told CNBC’s Sara Eisen that the Portland company remains committed to digital but will be more focused on software. He also said to stay tuned on what will come from its close partnership with Apple, a subject of much discussion in recent days.
(Disclosure: CNBC is owned by NBCUniversal, an investor in Re/code’s parent company.)
According to the transcript, when asked about the future of the Nike FuelBand product, Parker responded:
Well, first of all, digital sport, as we call it at Nike, is incredibly important to us. We think it’s going to be a bigger and bigger factor in terms of the experience consumers have with the products that we create. So you’re going to see digital actually be more and more integrated into other products that we have. Our goal is to actually increase the number of users, those that can actually experience Nike Fuel and the Fuel System that we have, as well as other applications.
So you’re going to continue to see us coming to this area, to focus on expanding the reach. Today, we have about 30 million fuel band users. We’re hoping to push that over 100 million.
We have partners that we work with, obviously the most visible partner we have is Apple. We’ve been working with them for a long time, and we’re excited about where that relationship will go forward.
Asked to elaborate on that partnership, Parker continued:
There’s been a lot of speculation, which I understand. I will just say the relationship between Nike and Apple will continue. And I am personally, as we all are at Nike, very excited about what’s to come.
Finally, asked if Nike is exiting the hardware business, he replied:
We are focusing more on the software side of the experience. I think we will be part of wearables going forward. It’ll be integrated into other products that we create. And then we’ll look at expanding our partnerships to create more reach for the Nike Fuel and Fuel System that we have.
So it’s really about actually expanding the reach of Nike Fuel. And the best way to do that, we think, is through the best partnerships that we can find.
Watch the full interview below: