Check Out the LeBron James Innovation Center at Nike HQ
LeBron James has been a Nike athlete since entering the NBA as the #1 pick in the 2003 Draft – that's almost 20 years! Over the course of that time, King James has become one of the most prominent athletes in Nike history, so he's been given an honour that very few Swoosh signees are privy to: a building named after him at the brand's corporate headquarters in Beaverton, OR.
Dubbed the LeBron James Innovation Center, Bron's building houses the Nike Sport Research Lab (NSRL) on its cantilevered top floor. This lab houses everything from the world's largest motion-capture installation to body-mapping equipment and more, a feat of technology that Matthew Nurse, PhD, VP of the Nike Explore Team Sport Research Lab says 'is the epicentre of where we work with athletes of all abilities, all backgrounds, all skills and all sports.'
The new NSRL is five times as large as its predecessor, and besides its swath of sci-fi-like technical equipment boasts an NBA-sized basketball court, running tracks, and even an artificial turf training pitch. To make things even more impressive, there's also a quartet of 'advanced climate chambers' that let Nike scientists mimic a variety of conditions for enhanced performance feedback.
As part of Nike's Move to Zero initiative, there's also a significant sustainability aspect at the LeBron James Innovation Center. The building runs on 100 per cent renewable energy thanks to the 908 solar panels on its roof, and uses 40 per cent less water than other buildings of its size thanks to ecologically conscious fixtures. Even the floors are sustainable: they were made of 20,210 pounds of NikeGrind.