Nike Expands Digital Push with Training Game for Xbox

Nike Inc., the world’s largest sporting-goods maker, will enter the video-game business through a partnership with Microsoft Corp. to expand its brand beyond shoes and shirts.

Nike+ Kinect Training will be released this holiday shopping season exclusively on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Kinect, according to Stefan Olander, Nike’s vice president of digital sport. The Kinect, a motion-camera add-on for Xbox, will enable users to receive feedback from on-screen personal trainers and have a workout designed for them, he said.

The Beaverton, Oregon-based maker of Air Jordans created the Nike+ brand in 2006 as a way for people to measure their workouts. It also helped Nike increase the time customers spend with the Nike brand and gain a foothold in social media by offering users the ability to post results online and compare with friends.

“We’ve moved from being a product company to a services and product company,” Olander said today in an interview.

Nike+ products have included shoe sensors and a wristband that records workouts and movement to applications on digital devices such as Apple Inc.’s iPhone.

The video game begins by taking players through a series of physical tests, including stretching and push-ups, to make a fitness assessment. The program uses that data to create a personalized training regimen. Activity is then recorded and another evaluation is made four weeks later to measure progress, much as a personal trainer would.

Facebook Integration

Facebook will be integrated into the experience, enabling people to post results to the social network. Users can also work out with a friend by viewing his or her video feed through the Xbox Live network, Olander said.

These features tie into people’s desire to get “credit for what they are doing,” Olander said. “It gives you this immediate feedback” that will help keep you more motivated, he said.

Olander, who introduced the game today at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, declined to comment on how much it will sell for, or where it will be sold.